“We will rebuild” – Milton business owners recovering after fire damages building

MILTON, Del. – Three business owners are now fighting to find a path forward after a fire caused massive damage to their building. But those business owners say they’re taking the destruction as an opportunity to grow. “We will rebuild. We will continue. This town needs us, and we need them,” said owner of Speckled Roost Kristen Latham.

Two of the business owners were inside the building when it started, and managed to get out safely. “We ran out the back door and there was in fact flames engulfing the outside of the building. So we got out as soon as possible,” said owner of Paisley Moon Salon Gretchen Ninze Heltzer.

For  owner of Nest Spa and Skincare Boutique Hillary Brock – she says her spa is a total loss. But Brock says out of the ashes rises opportunity.  “It’s a fresh start. It’s kind of like redo for my business, you know what I mean?” said Brock.

Latham says she was in the process of moving into the space after her old building was damaged by cars running into it three times in one year. “Our building at the Suburban Farmhouse was hit three times last year. Three different people, three different shoe incidents, and the people ran physically through the building with their cars,” said Latham.

Latham says it’s been an emotional year. But she’s ready to move on and get past the tragedy. “If we can do this through this pandemic and this year, nothing’s going to stop us,” said Latham.

Ninze Heltzer says she feels the same. She tells 47ABC that getting through this loss – and having to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic – is being made much easier because of overwhelming support from the community. “I’ve never seen the amount of people bond together, taking care of each other in the community and just being there for one another the way it’s been. I love this town,” said Ninze Heltzer.

The community hasn’t just been rallying around the business owners. They’re also raising funds for families who lived in the apartments where the fire started.

The building is without electricity or water. The business owners’ insurance companies are still assessing the damage. The fire is still under investigation.

If you’d like to donate to the the families who lost their homes, or the businesses affected, you can click here – or contact the Milton Community Foundation at miltoncommunityfoundation@gmail.com.

Categories: Business, Delaware, Local News