Local businesses grapple with the aftermath of a devastating fire

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A devastating fire ripped through downtown Coeur d’Alene Monday morning – it took over four hours for firefighters to get it under control.

The fire started at a building on N. Fourth Street and E. Lakeside Avenue, just two blocks from McEuen Park. By the time crews were able to douse the flames, six local businesses had been badly damaged. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Currently, the entire area is fenced off, and no one is allowed inside.

“I looked at my husband and I said ‘Something’s wrong,’” recalled Shannon Murphy-Gomez.

It was supposed to be a calm Monday for them.

“I’m an attorney in Spokane. I represent legally-free kids in foster care,” she explained, standing with her husband in front of the smoldering building, “Today was a day I was going to just do billing and catch up.”

It was not supposed to be a day of devastation.

“I saw him in the car coming back to get me, and the look on his face is just… oh, oh no.” Murphy-Gomez said.

Shannon and her husband, Luis, are the owners of 720 Haberdashery.

“When I saw it, it’s like, devastating,” Luis Gomez said.

It is a men’s clothing store and tailor shop – located inside one of the buildings that went up in flames Monday morning.

“We weren’t ready for this,” said Murphy-Gomez, “We had just opened in August. He’s been a tailor for 50 years.”

Shannon said they didn’t even know there was a fire until her friends started offering their sympathies out of nowhere.

“I started getting these weird Facebook messages, asking us if we were okay. Then all of a sudden, I heard and started seeing people talking about prayers. Someone tried to call me through Facebook. All stuff that is not normal,” Murphy-Gomez recalled.

The two called it their dream store.

“When I got here, I just… I don’t cry,” she said, “but I did.”

Thankfully, their part of the building didn’t burn – it was only damaged by smoke and water. They were able to salvage all the clothing inside.

“The clothes we bought, [those are] replaceable,” said Murphy-Gomez, “But other people’s stuff… they trusted us. So that is the first stuff that is going to get cleaned and taken care of.”

They may not have a roof over their heads, but they’re going to continue working; no matter where that may be.

“We’re going to rebuild and start again. That’s all I can say,” said Gomez.

Several other businesses suffered as a result of the fire, but as for 720 Haberdashery, they said that if they can find a place, they will get back to serving their customers as soon as Friday.