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Jerome Businesses Picking Up The Pieces After Fire

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By Brittany Cooper

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) It took nine crews and more than one million gallons of water to put out Tuesday's fire in Jerome.
Now businesses are trying to figure out what to do next.

Sealed off by police tape, these Jerome businesses lie in the wake of Tuesday's devastating fire.

"It's a huge setback," says Josh Whittaker, father owns Harvest Moon Café.

The restaurant opened in the latter part of 2012 and was just starting to expand its cuisine.

Whittaker adds, "everything my parents have is invested into this place...I don't think reality has quite sunk in on them yet ... I know that we're looking at locations to move our restaurant to temporarily."

Meanwhile, the building next door housing the Jerome Chamber, SIEDO and CSI closed due to some smoke damage. Crews are busy cleaning the business.

Anna Dovenmuehler, Building Manager and Assistant to the Executive Director of SIEDO says, "they came in to clean the walls, clean the windows, the blinds, furniture, wipe everything down to get the smell out."

But Larry Webb, owner of The Northside Club could count his blessings that day. His businesses went unscathed.

Webb explains, "I didn't feel my building was ever in any kind of threat. I'm probably 100 feet, 150 feet west of where the fire was and with the degree of the wind, it would have been awful hard to get down to my place with the response that the fire department was doing."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Fire Chief Jack Krill tells us they have some theories, but nothing is definitive. While the levels of damage vary, the common message heard throughout the block is... "it could have been worse."

Nine families have been impacted by the fire and you can still drop off nonperishable food at the fairgrounds. Other in-kind donations can be dropped off at the Idaho Youth Ranch.


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