Just days after Monday’s fire in Princeville, the community has come together to collect money and items for the owners of Los Jimadores Mexican Restaurant, who lived upstairs and three families living in the building next to it.
The owners weren’t home at the time of the fire, but an employee who also lived there was able to get out safely.
The owners are still shaken up by the images of the burned building. They said it has been a traumatic event and still trying to process everything.
“We’ve been in contact with all the families and we’re a really close community so everyone knows everybody and wants to help and so it was just getting it organized,” said Kari Wade, community volunteer.
The owners started their business a year and a half ago and they are trying to figure out the next steps while the investigation continues.
“Their income is gone, their whole house is gone, they have nothing and have no way to replace it because they worked at the business,” said Wade.
There has been two occasions of smoldering in the structure on Wednesday.
“Smoldering always happens in a building like that because everything collapses in and creates an area between the lower level and upper level where there’s some hot spots. It’s something like that where we can’t get in and we can’t physically walk on it and tear it apart. It’s just going to happen until they get the building torn down,” said Jeff Troutman, Princeville Village President.
For the moment the focus continues to be helping those who lost their homes, get back on their feet.
The village president said the owners of Los Jimadores were always willing to help when needed.
“During winter time, they made food deliveries from the restaurant to people who were shut in and opened their doors when they needed to, so everything pays forward every time,” said Troutman.
The owners and the other families who have been displaced have all found places to stay.
Due to the large amount of clothing donations, the families displaced by the Princeville fire are mostly in need of monetary donations and/or gift cards.
An account has been set up at The Princeville State Bank to collect funds. Those interested can go to either Princeville or Peoria branch at the Shops of Grand Prarie and donate to the FBO 6/17/19 account.
Gift cards can be dropped off at the Akron-Princeville Fire Department.