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Business owners count losses after massive Harrisburg fire - abc27 WHTM

Business owners count losses after massive Harrisburg fire

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Volunteers of America lost $250,000 of retail merchandise in its warehouse. Volunteers of America lost $250,000 of retail merchandise in its warehouse.
Total damage is estimated at $3.92 million. Total damage is estimated at $3.92 million.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The day after a fire ripped through several Harrisburg businesses, owners were surveying the damage.

The fire started at Hebron Inc., a car parts recycling facility at the corner of South Cameron and Hanna streets.

"An electrical spark hit some gas that had spilled, that we had poured dry sand on, and the dry sand ignited," Hebron owner Kathleen Alzghier said.

Although several cars next to Hebron were salvaged, the building was just a pile of rubble.

"Every employee is here working today, off the clock, just because we have a good team," Alzghier said. "God will see us through. God always has a plan."

Five business were damaged including The Furniture Man, which is connected to Hebron. The owner just moved his business to the building six months ago.

"Assessing the damage, that is the only thing I can do right now," said Andre Butts, owner of The Furniture Man.

Although the walls of his business are still standing, everything inside was destroyed. Restoration crews were pumping water out of the building and removing furniture.

"Wet from the bottom, smoke damage, you can smell smoke in it," Butts said. "I am trying to stay strong, as strong as I possibly can. Luckily, I have insurance."

Butts says his damages total more than $250,000. He hopes to reopen in about two months.

Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania lost everything stored in its warehouse; the only large storage facility they have in the Midstate.

"I knew instantly that it was a total loss. I mean, it is devastating for us," president and CEO Melissa Vayda said.

Piles of clothes were soaked with water. The ceiling of the building partially collapsed. All the donated items that had been stored in the warehouse would have been sold at their thrift stores to help needy families.

"It is going to affect the lives of a lot of those people," Vayda said. "We serve over 3,000 individuals a year, so that is a lot of people that potentially could not have something they need."

"We have to depend on the good people of Pennsylvania to help us in this situation," she said.

Total damage is estimated at $3.92 million.


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