Bothell business owners cope with destruction after massive fire

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BOTHELL, Wash. -- The Bothell fire jumped the street and destroyed the two-story building at the corner of Main Street and 102nd Avenue NE.

Inside, nearly a dozen locally owned shops were all destroyed.

“I just have no words,” said Jill Evans as she looked at the rubble that once housed her small business, Hapertas and Co.

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Evans’ small menswear accessory business is gone.

“I just moved in about three weeks ago,” said Evans, “I just moved everything in and I quit my job in November to try and do this full time.”

Evans used the space to make her bow ties, pocket squares and other men’s accessories by hand.

She said about $35,000 worth of inventory was destroyed.

“I relied on this for my income, so I have no idea what I’m going to do,” said Evans.

Evans shared a space in the Bothell Mall with three other friends. Their businesses focused on weddings.

A wedding planner, two photographers and her modern menswear accessory boutique.

Their entire shop, destroyed by the early morning fire that sent flames shooting into the air.

“It sucks, yeah, it’s really hard. It’s hard to see everything you’ve worked for just be gone,” added Evans.

The fire was so intense it quickly spread from one building to the next and numerous businesses were damaged or destroyed by the flames and smoke.

“The three sections of windows that are blown out is my office,” said Rebecca Iverson, who owns Blush Celebrations, which also shared space in the same space with Evans.

Iverson came down to see the damage firsthand.

“The stuff over here, that pile this is all my stuff,” said Iverson as she pointed to a pile of items removed from the burned out building.

“It’s overwhelmingly unreal. I can’t wrap my brain around everything that’s in there,” said Iverson.

Everything she had in her shop had to do with wedding planning, a businesses she started eight years ago.

“Stuff I collected over the years, several thousand dollars of inventory and furniture, even vintage wedding dresses I collected, tons of those that are gone,” said Iverson, “I just feel like I’m starting all over again and that’s overwhelming.”

The fire did damage that can be repaired but left a big impact on a small community.

Some of the people in the Bothell Mall didn’t have insurance, so they’re trying to see what they’ll do next.

Meanwhile, community members already are coming together to help some of the local businesses.

All profits from Beardslee Public House on Monday, July 25, and all profits from Wildwood Spirits Co. on Wednesday, July 27, will be given to the owners of the Kozy Corner Café and Zulu’s Board Game Café to help them rebuild.

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