MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — Community members and the Highland Lakes Crisis Network are collecting relief funds for businesses and employees displaced by a large fire in Marble Falls, Texas, on Wednesday.
The structure fire took place at U.S. 281 and First Street Wednesday evening. Emergency responders closed down the area through Thursday as crews worked to contain the large blaze.
The two-story strip mall was host to multiple businesses including China Kitchen, a well-loved restaurant in the Marble Falls community.
Individual GoFundMe crowdfunding pages have been set up for businesses impacted by the blaze.
One of them is for Family Taekwondo Center and Marble Falls Best After School Program and Summer Camp.
Owner Kelly Lee said a class was lining up for a lesson when the fire broke out. She said a student was the first to realize something was wrong.
“Just through a break in the ceiling tiles he could see some flames. Within seconds, the smoke started billowing in. All we could do was just make sure all the kids were out. Got out as fast as we could,” Lee said.
The Highland Lakes Crisis Network is also collecting donations through its website and by mail for employees that are now out of work because of the fire. The agency said those in need of assistance can call 325-423-3662 to discuss how to receive help.
Carol Nelson visited the site Friday afternoon to meet and comfort her friend and hairdresser, the owner of The Hair Loft Salon also claimed by the flames.
Nelson said it is painful to see her friend grieve the loss of her longtime business.
“This was where she worked and now she’s got no business. It’s going to be hard for some people to kind of recoup,” Nelson said.
The First Baptist Church of Marble Falls will hold a Car Wash and Bake Sale fundraiser in the coming weeks benefitting the affected businesses.
The fundraiser will take place on Oct. 28 from 12-3:30 p.m. at 901 La Ventana Drive, Marble Falls.