The Great City of Monticello

Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Monticello Express Editorial

The Great

City of Monticello

What a week here in Monticello!

Just as November came to a close and the month of December and the thoughts of the holiday were near, a devastating downtown fire destroyed businesses and apartments for those living downtown. In all, four locally owned and operated businesses were affected in some fashion by the fire, whether it was directly from the fire, smoke or water damage. A handful of apartments were also destroyed by the fire, leaving residents literally out in the cold.

While the Red Cross assisted the displaced residents with a warm place to stay, food and clothing, local businesses, community residents and more offered food and hot beverages for the dozens and dozens of volunteer firefighters who helped battle the fire.

While all of the donations that morning and throughout the day meant so much to the firefighters, it has been the community support that was so greatly appreciated. Our downtown district could definitely appear a lot worse than it is now.

The businesses affected also commented on the endless amount of support. First and foremost, they all extended a hand of thanks to our local fire department and that of the other volunteer departments that helped in those early morning hours.

Other businesses in Monticello offered assistance to the displaced businesses with boxes, help moving and carrying out inventory and merchandise as well as food and moral support. Seeing the sadness in the business owners’ eyes as they talked about the fire on Nov. 28, there were also tears of joy as the community reached out to them.

Our firemen, as well as those from the other towns of Anamosa, Hopkinton, Cascade and Manchester, worked tirelessly that morning and throughout the day to keep the fire contained.

Our local police department also deserves a huge thank you. In talking to the apartment residents, one couple in particular, if Officer Corey Roberts had not run into their apartment to wake a young woman up, the story might read differently today.

As horrible as this fire was, the end result could have been much worse. Buildings are still standing. No injuries or deaths were reported.

These businesses will bounce back. Within hours of the fire, they were already thinking of relocating and getting back up and running to serve their customers and this community. That speaks volumes of our local business owners and their dedication and commitment to Monticello.

This holiday season, while we stress shopping locally, it means more now than ever. The Home Furniture Gallery, Keleher’s Jewelry and Monticello Carpet & Interiors are still in business. Give them, and all our local businesses your support. (K.N.B.)