A fire tears through a building housing two businesses, Canyon Carpets and Jay’s Appliance and Repair, along with three apartments on May 30, 2015. The building has since been rebuilt. (Pattie Desjardins photo)

Canyon Carpets owner recounts recovery after 2015 fire disaster

What did a local company do in the first day to first year?

About two years ago, Canyon Carpets owner Suzie Shaw suffered the same fate after a fire burned through her business.

The fire happened on May 30, 2015, and took many months before her business could return to its original state. The road to recovery for Canyon Carpets was further complicated because they did not have business interruption insurance, which would cover their loss of income after the disaster. An additional storage room Canyon Carpets built was not insured, and that meant she lost about $80,000 in inventory.

Just like the two businesses that suffered the Sept. 17 fire, Shaw spent the first 24 hours not knowing how to move forward.

“I just stood outside staring at the empty lot — a pile of rubble,” said Shaw. “I was only allowed that luxury for one day.”

Wasting little time, Shaw’s daughter called multiple sales representatives, told them what happened, and asked them to deliver samples and racks, and together, they found a temporary location where the Sears used to be. Shaw said she knew that not having business interruption insurance meant that they had to reopen as soon as possible.

“The fire was on the weekend. On Monday, we were in the new building,” said Shaw.

In retrospect, restarting the business as soon as possible turned out as a good choice.

“It gave me a purpose, it gives you something. You got to keep going, get this up and running and keeps your mind off it,” said Shaw. “And if you don’t, you’re going to sit around and feel sorry for yourself.”

It took Canyon Carpets a couple of weeks before they got their supplies in. By the end of their first month, they went on as usual, except for certain hitches because they lost a data backup in the fire.

“I didn’t know what jobs we were supposed to be doing,” said Shaw. “We were booked for three weeks … and I couldn’t do it because I didn’t know what we’re supposed to be doing and we lost our materials.”

Shaw also said the community provided her emotional support. Customers who came in brought cards, flowers, offered help, and some even came in to pay bills that would otherwise be forgotten.

On Aug. 1, 2016, they moved into their new building.

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