Colorado Retailers Affected by Wildfires
July 19, 2012 - 5:14pm
Austin Bluffs Lighting location asked to evacuate, while The Light Center prompts fundraising effort.

Lighting retailers were among those affected by recent wildfires in Colorado. The Denver Post reports that the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires destroyed hundred of homes at an estimated cost of $450 million.

As a precautionary measure, employees of Austin Bluffs Lighting in Colorado Springs, CO, were asked to temporarily evacuate from their showroom.

The store's President Kevin Herdt says the location was on the edge of the evacuation area and it had a choice of whether or not to evacuate. But at one point, he says, the fire was merely a subdivision away.

The showroom was closed for two days, but since the area was essentially on lockdown before and after this time, Herdt estimates the retailer lost a total of four business days.

Herdt believes this was one of the worst Colorado wildfires to date. Indeed, the 2010 fires west of Boulder were previously considered the state's most costly, but the damage from these most recent fires is estimated to be nearly double the $224 million in 2010. Herdt says everyone at the store has learned to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to fire safety.

The Light Center in Fort Collins, CO, was not affected by evacuations or the wildfire directly, but wanted to help those in need. The store donated 10 percent of its June fan sales to the Northern Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Jennifer Guerriero, co-owner of the store, had posted on Facebook about the fundraising effort: "Words cannot express how much concern and sympathy we have for those who have been affected by the High Park fire. Many people are experiencing the need for cooler temperatures, better air quality and circulation."

The store raised a total of $1,451. And although The Light Center itself was not affected, one store employee did have to evacuate from home for a short period of time.

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