FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — A couple is struggling to get back on their feet after a fire burned down their business on Thursday.
“In a matter of 15 minutes we went from building our dreams to what are we going to do?” said owner Jason Harrell.
Fire officials say the blaze started around 2:30 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Franklin as a reported electrical fire. It quickly spread through the furniture store, Trinkettes & Treasures, shooting up through the roof of the building.
Harrell says he heard a pop then saw smoke. “We tried to put it out, but when we opened the door I guess the oxygen went to the fire,” he said.
Harrell and his fiance, Anita Hall, say they just opened an internet cafe inside Trinkettes & Treasures, about a month ago.
“We started this business out of pocket, we did everything out of our wallets,” Harrell said.
Harrell says the fire not only burned down their new venture, but the smoke and water damage forced officials to condemn Hall’s insurance business just next door.
He also says someone threw a brick through the door of their business and broke in the day after the fire, taking nearly $800. “I mean they ram-sacked the whole place,” he said.
Now, they say they’re without jobs, no source of income and have four children to support. Not to mention, they say several of their employees don’t have jobs anymore either.
“We went from our hopes and dreams to unemployment,” Harrell said.