by Emily Ball–
Early Easter morning tragedy struck the Community Inn Restaurant when a fire started inside the building, destroying a major part of the back section. Employees at the restaurant have heard the fire began from a cigarette in a trash can. However, officials have not publicly released the reason. According to a statement by WSLS, Community Inn was a restaurant that in fact allowed smoking inside the building.
While the fire has left the business closed just for a week, it still does not seem real for Mont Morrow, Co-owner of the Community Inn. “I still think some of it still hasn’t sunk all the way in,” said Morrow. “It affects a lot of people, but the community has come together.”
Ever since the fire occurred, businesses and patrons of the area have started doing what they can to help out. Morrow said that several businesses have offered shifts to their employees to help with the unemployment as well as others doing a fundraiser to help raise money.
“I knew we would have support, but I never imagined it’d be like this,” said Morrow.
With all of the support coming from the community, Tony Pearman, a friend of Mont Morrow, took the lead on making a main GoFundMe account. Pearman started the goal at $50,000 since the owners are uncertain of the amount they will need to repair. According to the account so far, they have raised $12,676 from 176 people since created last week.
“We know that insurance isn’t going to cover everything,” said Pearman. “One of the biggest repercussions in why we started the crowd funding thing was for the challenge for the employees who are not paid salary.”
Even with this heartbreaking event, members of the community have lessened the grief of the fire by stepping up to help their own. With all the support, Community Inn hopes to open its doors as soon as possible to continue serving the Roanoke area.