Nearby business owners assess losses, damage after Southwest Boulevard fire

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 19:38:29-04

Business owners lost hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars while the road was shut down during Tuesday's fire on Southwest Boulevard.

While they say the fire was unfortunate, they’re glad things are slowly getting back to normal.

It’s enough to leave a sour taste in any business owners mouth. John Greer’s business lost thousands in a matter of hours.

“It impacted us quite a bit. I had to call my reservations last night and tell them we won’t be open.”  As crews rushed to battle a three-alarm fire, Greer rushed to the phone to tell his customers that Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen would be closed.

Greer left work uncertain about the next day’s fate. “I had people texting me, asking if we’re open.” 

Workers at Danny Edwards Boulevard BBQ also had similar questions. The fire across at Friday’s Only Furniture Outlet didn’t have as big of an impact on the BBQ restaurant. They only had about an hour left before they were set to close.

Both restaurants are now open for business, but workers are sympathizing with the staff and owners at nearby Friday’s Only Furniture Outlet. Many telling 41 Action News, they realize it could’ve been so much worse.

Art Marble Furniture has minor fire damage to the roof, but that's it. 

Firefighters hosed down UltraSource LLC next to Art because an ember from the fire landed on the roof. It didn't cause any damage there. 

Schutte Lumber Company's President Mike Furman said they're not impacted physically. Emotionally is a different story because they know what it's like to go through a fire. Furman told 41 Action News he feels for the furniture company. 

On Wednesday, it was back to business at El Patron Mexican restaurant. 

Owner Estela Cabral, or "Mama Estela," could only watch as the flames took over the building next door, hoping it wouldn't touch her restaurant. 

"This was a big fire, it was a big fire. After I spent six or seven hours outside seeing what's going to happen, but everybody was safe so thanks to the firemen, they did a very good job," Cabral said. 

The restaurant was busy with people enjoying Taco Tuesday but patrons were quickly told to evacuate. Estela says's she's grateful there isn't any damage and no one was hurt. 

"I was scared for my employees. Everybody, all my employees need this job," Cabral said. 

She applauded her staff for turning off all the fryers and stoves quickly and evacuating with no problems. 

"I had to wash the soot and water off my car, and wash my clothes from smelling like smoke," employee Don Meister told us as he was about to eat lunch at El Patron. 

The owner of the building that is now a shell of bricks says these things happen, but is happy about the outcome. 

"No firefighters were hurt. They did a great job containing it just to that building," Bob Ehinger said. 

They are preparing for demolition. 

"I think it's more emotional probably to the tenant than it is to me," Ehinger said. "I hate losing the building but what's done is done."