NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A children’s store in the East Village is reopening this weekend after a fire devastated the business.
CBS2’s John Dias went to Ibiza Kidz to learn how the supportive community are helping inspire the owner to reopen.
A few bags of merchandise was all Carole Husiak was able to salvage after an underground transformer caught fire two weeks ago right next to the boutique she owns.
“This is my livelihood. It’s a very frightening thing to have happen,” Husiak said.
Firefighters had to open her store’s emergency doors to put out the fire, causing soot and smoke to fill up the shop. Crews are still cleaning up some of the mess. Ninety-five percent of her items on the sales floor and in storage were ruined. Toys and clothes were put in bags and thrown away, so damaged they couldn’t even be donated.
“I am not about to sell anything to families and to children that have an ounce of anything bad on it, and it was all covered,” Husiak said. “So I just had to bite the bullet and got rid of all of it, hoping to get reimbursed for most of it.”
While other shops nearby opened just two days after the fire, Ibiza Kids is still closed.
“It’s devastating emotionally, psychologically,” she said.
But it’s the community that Husiak says is keeping her going.
“People have come to the door saying if you need any help unpacking boxes, or pricing things, just let us know, we are here for you. You’re here for us, we’re going to be here for you,” she said.
Neighbors donated their time and also words of encouragement every day they’ve been shut down.
“We are looking forward to the opening of Ibiza Kids for the neighborhood and the children,” said East Village resident Rosemarie Gallagher.
“We expect it to be here, we want it to be here, we need it to be here,” said East Village resident Susie Fasbinder.
“It makes us sad for them, they have to do a lot of work to get open the store open again,” said East Vilalge resident Miriam Solomon.
“I can’t tell you how amazing that is, to know the community gets us, and understands our value and is here to support us,” Husiak said.
Because of that, Husiak promises to come back bigger, stronger and cleaner than ever before. She hopes the store will open this Saturday.
Meanwhile, fire officials are still trying to figure out how the fire started in the first place.