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‘People want to see the pharmacy rebuilt’: After fire, Cascade’s Watkins pharmacy works to rebuild

Last February, Cascade’s only pharmacy burned to the ground.

Watkins Pharmacy at 104 Main Street, alongside Highway 55, was a total loss. As a result, residents have been left with few options, including driving about 30 minutes to McCall to pick up prescriptions.

Pharmacy owner Ben Watkins said it’s been a slow process moving forward. He hopes to rebuild the pharmacy but has run into “one barrier after another” after filing the insurance claim.

Grappling with insurance

“It’s just been a slow process of information gathering,” Watkins said. “And then of course, it takes them (the insurance company) time to make their determination. Development of the property and the real estate, kind of rebuilding, all of that is kind of predicated on what we get from the insurance company. So, we have just been kind of waiting until they make their determination, and then we can know what we have to work with and set a budget.”

He explained that the insurance claim size is one of the reasons for the several-month wait.

“And the claim is pretty large, with personal property, and the building, and business interruption insurance and stuff like that,” Watkins said. ‘There are multiple arms to this claim, and so it just takes time to get everything submitted…And then and then it takes them time to analyze it and make a determination.”

Watkins said that despite the delays with the insurance claim, he has felt the community support.

“People want to see the pharmacy rebuilt in some fashion,” he said. “And I tend to look at that and there’s a lot of community support, support from the hospitals or from a town, support from the Board of Pharmacy, and then we’ve had a lot of professional support from other people in the profession that’s reached out offered support in any way. I think everybody’s like, really kind of rallying around there.”

While Watkins had expected to be further along in the rebuilding process than he is now, he’s hopeful some progress can be made this year. 

“I would be fairly surprised if it didn’t happen this year. I’m pretty certain we’re gonna get something going,” he said.

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Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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