LAUREL — Emotions are high and the community support has been overwhelming after a weekend fire forced the doors to close at The Yogurt Shop in Laurel.
The day began just like it always did on Jan. 22 at The Yogurt Shop. That all changed when an unexpected visitor walked through the door.
“The police showed up and said we needed to evacuate and we had no idea why. They said we had a fire on our roof,” said The Yogurt Shop co-owner Jackie Johnson.
The fire tore apart the roof and ceiling of the mom-and-pop shop.
“It’s been a very humbling experience if anything,” Johnson said.
Water damage took out the floor and a huge part of their inventory.
“We’re obviously going to have the replace the roof, we’re going to have to replace the ceiling. The floor is all water damaged, smoke damaged, all of our product, our food,” said Johnson.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Everything from cups to utensils has to be replaced, but that’s not what worries Johnson.
“All of our employees are out of work. Obviously, we can’t be making money because we can’t operate,” Johnson said.
Though things are tough at the moment, Johnson has been overcome not with grief but with gratitude.
“We’ve had a lot of people reach out and offer help,” said Johnson.
One customer stopped by to donate a thousand dollars. Others even volunteered to help rebuild the local business.
“A local contractor, Todd Payne with Payne Construction has reached out and has offered to help free of charge,” Johnson said.
Generosity this family didn’t expect but will never forget.
“The one thing about Laurel is you know when you go through something like this, you’re not going through it alone,” Johnson said.
She’s already looking forward to the day The Yogurt Shop reopens, and most importantly, she’s looking forward to saying thank you.
“Just come back when we’re open,” Johnson exclaimed.