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August 13, 2014 05:09 PM

Tea Businesses Picking Up After Fire

Tea, SD

Three Tea businesses are left picking up the pieces after a large fire destroyed several properties in an industrial park on the east side of town.

A pile of rubble is a shocking sight for many people who've been driving past this east-tea industrial park. But the owners of the three businesses impacted by the blaze are doing the best they can to recover.

The rubble still smolders where a warehouse holding three businesses once stood tall in Tea.

For Pro Garage Door co-owner Dustin Ahrendt waking up this morning felt like a nightmare.

"It hit when we were coming down the road and you couldn't see the building anymore," Ahrendt said.

He's only owned the garage company for a year. And while he lost more than $100,000 worth of inventory and equipment, he refuses to let the fire burn his business.

"You can't really do anything else but keep moving forward and find a new place to put everything is what you've got to do," Ahrendt said.

The Lincoln County Emergency Manager says the fire likely started when something flammable spilled inside the building. The flames spread quickly -- destroying everything inside. A salvage company was also heavily damaged.

There was a third business that was also damaged by this fire. The owner of ATS Tree Service didn't want to talk on camera but says he received approximately $40,000 in damages.

And for Ahrendt, he and his partner are already searching for a new location to house their business.

"It's just time to move, I guess," Ahrendt said.

And remarkably, Pro Garage Door even had five employees out working today despite the damage to their building.

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