Maraline "Mimi" Olson, founder of Screamin' Mimi's in Sebastopol

This afternoon, I took my pups Joey and Lark for a walk in downtown Sebastopol, one of their favorite things to do because they know exactly which businesses keep dog treats on hand and where they stash them.

As we turned the corner of Petaluma Ave. and Bodega Ave., the street was crowded with people enjoying ice cream scooped from bins inside coolers set on tables outside Screamin’ Mimi’s. At first I thought they were celebrated something–the end of school, perhaps, or maybe a new flavor–but soon learned that they had a fire last night and couldn’t open.

Lucky for everyone, disaster was averted around 2 a.m. this morning when a sheriff’s deputy, Vince Mestrovich, noticed, during his regular patrol, that Mimi’s interior seemed awfully hazy. He called the Sebastopol Fire Department and volunteer firefighters, under the command of Chief Bill Braga, soon discovered a shelf of supplies smoldering and ready to burst into flame. They managed to get it outside before extinguishing it, so there is no water damage inside the store.

The smoldering began after the bathroom fan caught on fire and dripped melted plastic on paper towels, hand sanitizer and such.

“It could have been so much worse,” Maraline “Mimi” Olson said, looking both a bit frazzled and very relieved. Workers inside the store were cleaning–there’s a strong smell of smoke–and late this evening Maraline confirmed that Mimi’s will be open tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Kudos and gratitude go out to the deputy who saved Mimi’s–it would be so sad to lose, however briefly, Sonoma County’s best ice cream just as summer’s heat kicks in.

As I enjoyed ginger ice cream in a cone, Lark and Joey pulled me towards Main St. and Dresser’s, where some of their favorite treats can be found.

Joey, 12, is a dappled black & tan mini longhaired dachshund. Lark is the same breed, with a chocolate and cream coat.