Neighbors Work To Help Small Businesses Damaged In Downtown Columbus Fire


UPDATED: Friday April 18, 2014 11:46 PM

Local businesses on Gay Street are getting help from neighbors as they figure out how to rebuild.

Fire damaged Sugardaddy's and neighboring small businesses Tuesday night.

"Everything's pushed over.  The product's on the floor, it's in water, it's in ashes,"  said Robert Grimmet, owner of Robert Mason.

Everything in Grimmet's custom office products shop is ruined.

"When you build something, especially from 12 years on, and your name is on the building, then to see it go up in flames, it makes me very emotional,"  said Grimmet.

The shop started in his parent's basement.  Grimmet has one store in his hometown in West Virginia and just opened in Columbus a year ago.

"When you have something like this, you go out of business overnight," said Grimmet.

The fire started in neighboring Sugardaddy's.  Firefighters had to bust up the floor to get to it.  All the smoke rolled out through Robert Mason.

"In the light of day, it is more devastating than we thought," said Lisa Anglim.

Especially considering Anglim just bought Sugardaddy's in the fall.  Thankfully she has a Polaris location where the baking's done.  Still, the fire wiped out all her downtown clientele.

"The way that people have given their support and reached out to us has just really touched our hearts," said Anglim.

That's what will likely get both businesses through this.  Several neighbors have offered Anglim temporary space.

"All the businesses in downtown Columbus, we're like a family," said Josh Fitzwater at Cement Marketing.

Cement is spear heading a campaign for Grimmet.

"We really wanted to help out and increase the awareness of what happened and what his needs are," said Fitzwater.

Neighbors who understand the hardships of being small in a big city.

"It's a small business.  If we're not selling every day, we can be out of business very quickly," said Anglim.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Read more on the effort to help Robert Mason.

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