BRIGHTON, Colo. -- The families that own the seven businesses destroyed by a two-alarm fire in Brighton June 2 are still struggling to get back on their feet.
The blaze, on the 300 block of North Main street, apparently started in a mechanic shop, when a welder inadvertently ignited combustible material, while working on an SUV.
"It's really hard," said Yadira Mosqueda, whose extended family owns Tortilleria El Valle, "especially when you put your life savings and (mortgage) your house to make it grow."
Mosqueda remembers watching the flames leap from one business to the next.
"I was really praying for our business to be safe," she said.
The Mosquedas lost everything in the blaze. So did the owners of Las Palomas, Llantera La Michoacana Tires & Wheels, Carniceria Jerez and Venzor Shop.
One of them, Viviana Soto, of Las Palomas Miscelaneos, was fortunate to find another location to re-open, but she told Denver7 "business has not yet returned to normal."
She was able to re-stock the new store on credit.
The other business owners say their insurance companies are dragging their feet, which has left them in limbo.
Beauty from ashes
On Saturday, several other members of the local business community will host a fundraising benefit at Jordinelli's Sports Bar & Grill, which is down the street at 25 North Main.
"We all stood on the corner and said, 'that could be us,'" said Shereen Fink, co-owner of Fink Ink.
Fink reached out to Serafina Garza, of Garza Tax & Accounting, and several other business owners, on the day of the fire, and said, "We need to stand by the owners affected by the blaze."
Both women say Brighton has sizeable Latino and White populations that haven't always pulled together. They hope this event, called "Beauty From Ashes," changes that.
"We need to come together," Garza told Denver7, "the Hispanic community and the business community, because I need your money and you need mine. We've got to stick together, and hopefully, this will unite our town."
Fink said it will be a cross-cultural event with food, music and dancing.
"We'll have pulled pork and fried chicken, and frijoles and tamales," she said, "and we'll have one of the firetrucks that battled the blaze out front, so kids can get their little hats."
Tickets to the event are $15. Anyone wishing to contribute beyond that is welcome to do so.
"It's all about the hope and not necessarily the money," said Jordinelli's owner Daniel Doherty, "It's to give them (burned out business owners) a little motivation and let them know they can keep working hard and it'll happen."
The CEO of the Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce, Naomi Colwell, said coming together to help others "will not only insure that the businesses become successful, but that families do too."
"We've got a fantastic environment in Brighton," said business owner Roger Fink. "This is going to be one of those stepping stones that helps bring people together."
- September 16, 2017
- Jordinelli’s Sports Bar & Grill
- 12Noon to 5 p.m.
- 25 North Main Street
- Tickets - $15