‘We are all here for each other’: Community rallies around those impacted by downtown Coeur d’Alene fire

Fire businesses were destroyed in a fire in downtown Coeur d'Alene.
Fire businesses were destroyed in a fire in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Copyright: 4 News Now.

The downtown Coeur d’Alene fire has affected, if not completely destroyed, at least five businesses, leaving many owners and employees worried about what’s to come.

“The windows, it was so bright, the old brick. I loved it. So it’s just, it’s hard to see it completely destroyed,” shared Cole Taylor Salon hairstylist Monica Shewfelt.

For her, focusing on the outside of the business was a lot easier than thinking about the inside.

“I mean, this is like our second home, we spend a majority of our days here and we are all like family,” Shewfelt said.

As reality set in, a million more thoughts started racing through her mind – to the hundreds of dollars of product she left on the counter, the sheers in the drawer she’d just paid off.

“You honestly pay to work, so to have everything destroyed, having to start over and find somewhere else to go, is hard,” she said.

In such a state of shock, it was hard to see little glimmers of a community ready to step up and help out.

Across the street from Cole Taylor Salon, tables and chairs normally set up for Woops Bake Shop customers became a hub for firefighters as they continued to process the devastating scene. Bake shop employees kept deliveries of warm drinks and pastries coming, and as the morning progressed, they widened their reach serving those who didn’t have a place to go to work

RELATED: Local businesses bring coffee and pastries to firefighters battling downtown Coeur d’Alene fire

“I know everyone that works in that building over there and I’m very sad for them. They come in here every day…. twice a day sometimes. It’s heartbreaking. Looking across the street now and seeing the devastation. It hits you even harder,” Woops manager Shaela Noe said.

The Pita Pit, whose office just a block away suffered a fire years ago, brought sandwiches and the Downtown Coeur d’Alene Association showed up before sunrise with boxes of donuts.

“I’m sure what we’ve already seen for us is going to multiply tenfold to help these businesses out,” said firefighter Craig Etherton.

It happened sooner than he may have guessed. Emily Boyd said the Association was already overwhelmed by messages of folks wanting to do more.

“Everyone wants to know what’s going on, and we are all in communication with each other and everyone is asking what can we do to help so we are all here for each other,” she said.

Taking a step back and thinking about all her North Idaho community does for her on a good day, Shewfelt started to feel like it would be alright.

“Coeur d’Alene is amazing. Great people in this town. It will all work out,” she said.

RELATED: Several businesses destroyed in downtown Coeur d’Alene fire