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BOUNTIFUL — Several business owners are trying to figure out what to do next after a four-alarm fire destroyed their building Saturday. The fire on 165 S. Main Street in Bountiful started around 1:30 a.m. When firefighters arrived on the scene they saw thick, black smoke and flames coming from the rear of the business.
Crews from several agencies worked through the early morning hours putting out the fire. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation, said Steve Moss, batallion chief for South Davis Metro Fire. Damage will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.
It was one of those moments when you think ‘This happens to other people, this doesn't happen to me,' so it was a real shock. It was difficult.
"It was a big fire. It went to a four-alarm fire for us," Moss said. "It did cause quite a lot of damage."
The building houses three businesses: Creative Arts Academy, The Grand Ballroom Reception Center and Academy Attire School Uniforms.
Fire investigators know the fire started in the rear of the building, but they still don't know how.
A wedding reception is planned in the Grand Ballroom this Thursday, but before clean-up began, there was two inches of water covering the floor.
The floors are now dry thanks to all of the equipment operating for hours in the Grand Ballroom. The owner said about 15 to 20 percent of the facility was damaged. But he thinks the they can get studios operating again soon.
Dealing with the fire is especially hard for owners like Jennifer Townsend. She owns Academy Attire School Uniforms, which sells thousands of school uniforms throughout the state.
This time of year is her Christmas time. "It's my busiest time of year," she said. "School starts in three weeks, and I have a lot of people's clothes that were inside my store."
She wasn't allowed in the store to see how much damage her business had, but she said it was a huge loss. Holding back tears she said, "It's what I put all my life into, my passion, my love."
When asked what her worst fear was, she replied, "That someone spent their hard earned money to buy uniforms, and I'm not going to be able to get them in time."
While she is devastated, she is also hopeful. Some business neighbors have offered her the use of their stores to help customers.
Owner of Creative Arts Academy Jana Monson said the business was a dream come true for her. "I started the business because I love to dance, and I love children, and I love students."
Her husband, Sean, said he was shocked when he heard about the fire.
Out of tragedies and hard times your true spirit is born. Out of this tragedy we will be stronger.
"It was one of those moments when you think ‘This happens to other people, this doesn't happen to me,' so it was a real shock. It was difficult," he said. When he arrived on scene, he said he felt helpless and that there was nothing he could do but watch the building go up in flames.
Jana Monson said the fire was a tragedy, but things will all work out.
"Obviously the fire was devastating to us … But we really have so many wonderful friends and family members and this community is so amazing that we know that we will be able to come together and rebuild, and it will be better than it was before."
Sean Monson doesn't want to focus on the loss. "We have to look forward now," he said. "We have people that are counting on us. We have employees that are counting on us. We have customers that are counting on us." He said he feels a responsibility to all of them.
Dance student Andie Farley was sad to see the building destroyed. "(I hope) that everything will be OK, and that they fix it quickly, and that we will be able to get back to dancing soon."
"One of our teachers is moving and we were just going to throw a big party for her," Farley added. "And all of a sudden, it's burnt down."
"Out of tragedies and hard times your true spirit is born," Jana Monson said. "Out of this tragedy we will be stronger."