SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Business owners in the Sandfly area of Savannah are still assessing damages left behind after a large fire on Tuesday. By the time crews arrived most of the building was engulfed in flames. One of those businesses damaged was an antique shop that’s been around for years.
“I’m in shock, devastated,” Co-owner of Sandfly Antiques, Krystle Venticinque told News 3. “I don’t know what to do anymore this is my livelihood. This is what we’ve always done all day. This is what I live for. This is my baby, our baby.”
Venticinque and her partner have been running Sandfly Antiques for 10 years. Venticinque said the fire started just after 3 a.m. but when she got the news she couldn’t believe it.
“We thought that somebody was actually messing with something like our trailer or trying to steal the trailer,” Venticinque said.
But that wasn’t the case. Her business and others were engulfed in flames.
“When it first started it was all the way on the other side of the building so it wasn’t nowhere near our business so we thought we were going to be OK. But we basically stood by and just watched everything we worked so hard for disappear,” Venticinque said.
The fire took family heirlooms that are now charred, something that they can never get back. The only thing left standing was a Statue of Liberty. Venticinque calls this her one piece of hope.
“People came here when they were grieving to vent to us. This was like everybody’s little retail therapy. This is where they came to get away and everyone was like family to us,” Venticinque said.
Residents of the neighborhood have been driving by all day Thursday to get a closer look for themselves.
“Seeing that there’s absolutely nothing left it’s really sad and I feel terrible for the owners,” Savannah Resident, Yael Elfassy said.
The plan moving forward is to rebuild in the same spot in Sandfly.
“Because this is our home. This is where our friends are and family so this is where we want to be,” Venticinque said.
The owners said they didn’t have insurance. They’re still waiting for investigators to tell them how the fire started. A Go Fund Me has been set up for the businesses impacted by the fire.