Started A GoFundMe Campaign For a Family Business Devastated by the Worcester Fires

Earlier this month, a fire broke out at a retail building in Worcester’s Newton Square neighborhood, and it took firefighters six and a half hours to extinguish it. During the fire, two Worcester firefighters sustained minor injuries, and a building at 812 Pleasant Street eventually collapsed. Unfortunately, authorities deemed the building a total loss, along with the two stores inside, Worcester Flower Shop and You Home Deco. Now, the city owns and operates the store, which was part of a shopping mall consisting of three businesses.

The families who owned these stores are in need of support, and a GoFundMe page launched on May 7 is seeking to raise $25,000 for the owner whose business was severely impacted by the fire. As of Saturday afternoon, the page had raised $620. Both shopkeepers are distraught, not only due to their losses but also because they cannot continue to serve their loyal customers and neighbors.

Worcester City Councilman Etel Haxiaji expressed his condolences and support for the affected business owners, stating that officials in the city’s 5th District were in contact with the two stores that were affected by the fire. The store owners are devastated, having watched their dreams crumble in a matter of hours.

The GoFundMe page details how the owners of Worcester Flower Shop, Edwin Ramirez and Julia Portillo, have had to refund all of the flowers they had booked ahead of Mother’s Day, graduations, and weddings. Ramirez and Portillo have two children under the age of 10 and opened their store four years ago, which quickly became a neighborhood favorite.

Similarly, U-Home D├ęcor owner Dison and Clairbel Quinones, who have four children in their family, will reopen in July 2022. Their store, which specializes in furniture manufacturing and restoration, also had home accessories in various design styles. Ramirez and Portillo, as well as the Quinones family, are immensely grateful for the community support they have received and will continue to provide.

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