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Brewery hosts fundraiser for Florence businesses destroyed by fire

FLORENCE, Colo., (KRDO)- A blazing fire destroyed a building in Downtown Florence in August, leaving many business owners in despair. Local business owner Joen Elliot says though heartbroken, she's grateful for the community's support.

"The hardest part was waking up and thinking, 'What do I do today?'" Elliot said.

Elliott opened her business, a vintage antique store called Treasures, about a year ago. Even though it was during the pandemic, she says her business was doing well, but that was before it burst into flames earlier this month.

"One day you wake up and all of that is gone and your dreams are gone and you know your heart is gone," Elliott said.

Feeling helpless after that 2 a.m. phone call that changed her life on Aug. 5, Elliott realized she wouldn't be the only one losing revenue, but also the 15 vendors who had a booth in her store.

"It is some people's livelihood, and we have been there for a year, and there was a lot of product that was ruined that we really can't get back, plus the inconvenience of not being able to be open for three weeks, you lose all that revenue also," said Elliott.

One of those vendors is Ari Hope, who is also the Director of Operations at Florence Brewing Company, where the Florence Fire Relief Fundraiser will be taking place on September 4th.

"It was definitely gut-wrenching in the morning, 'cause you do not know what happened," said Hope.

Florence Brewing Company has a goal of raising $10,000 for those businesses affected by the fire.

"Community should be at the heart of everything you do, especially as a business, when you have the opportunity and a place for people to gather and see a direct impact it is really important," said Hope.

The two-story, historic building off West Main Street was home to several new businesses that are now gone, the second floor was under construction for apartments.

According to officials, the reason for the fire is still under investigation, though many suspect the fire hazard could've been due to an air conditioner unit. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The fundraiser will be hosted at the Florence Brewing Company from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 4. The event will feature a Silent Auction with 100% of the proceeds going directly into the Fire Relief Fund to be split amongst the five affected businesses. A percentage of the beer sales will also be donated to the Fire Relief Fund.

There is a full lineup of live music for the day, donated by the bands starting with Half Catz from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., followed by a group of active & retired Firefighters in the band Partially Stable from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., and the night will conclude with Spur of the Moment from 6 p.m. until they're done. Four food trucks will be at the brewery: Crash Site, Smithgrubs, Reggae Pot Xpress, and The Hungry Buffalo will be there.

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Jasmine Arenas

Jasmine is an MMJ and Anchor for Telemundo Surco and KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Jasmine here.

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