Gaffaney's Is Back in Business - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Gaffaney's Is Back in Business

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Gaffaney's is back in business after a fire destroyed it's downtown building on Sunday night.

It was an emotional scene Sunday night, as Gaffaney's burst into flames.

"We were all standing across the street watching the building burn," says store manager Tom Clayton. "There were tears, there were hugs, and we were caught up in the moment."

What happened next was a call to action.

"As the evening progressed, and it became clear that our building was not going to survive, what began to emerge was that we were going to survive," says Clayton.

And just five days later, the company is back in business. Employees have set up shop at a temporary warehouse on 2nd St. and 6th Ave West, and the store is already looking for a new, permanent location.

"We're excited to find out where that will be, but it will probably be at least a year before we have a permanent home for our business," says Clayton.

Today was Clayton's first time getting close to the rubble. He's devastated by the loss, but he's doing his best to keep spirits high.

"I was in a meeting recently where someone said, 'We need this and this,' and I said 'Don't worry about it, I have it.' And they said, 'Oh great where is it?' And I said, 'It's on my desk!' And we all had a laugh just for a moment in the midst of trying to pull things together."

Clayton says while different, business is continuing. He says customers were receiving orders by Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the fire.

"Most of them, had they not known what has happened, would not have even realized that something had happened. We can operate the business out of a warehouse and are doing that as we speak."

Returning to the rubble isn't easy, but Clayton says things could have been much worse. Nobody was working at the time of the fire, and he says a building and inventory can be replaced, but lives cannot.

"I think when an unexpected tragedy happens like this, the best and the worst comes out in everyone, but I'm not seeing any of the worst. But I've seen a lot of the best."

 

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