Family bounces back after fire destroys business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family bounces back after fire destroys business

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VINTON (KWWL) -

An area family is recovering after a devastating fire destroyed their furniture store. Decades of history went up in flames, but the family is opening a new location, working to keep the store's legacy alive.

Earlier this month we told you about the massive fire at Michael and Dowd in Vinton. Not only did the family lose their beloved business in their fire, but tons of memories fell with the flames.

Fifteen minutes after Lisa Vogt left her furniture store in Vinton, it went up in flames. She and her family watched as smoke poured from Michael and Dowd furniture store.

"It was very emotional and very tragic," said Vogt, Michael and Dowd owner. "There's a lot of memories there, we've been in business since 1939...my grandmother started the business, so the store held a lot of history for us."

The family made dozens of memories there.

"On one of the door jamb my father, since my children could walk, he was marking how tall they were, so that was still there, that's gone,." said Vogt.

Vogt says her family's business was at the E. 4th Street location for nearly 70 years and what happened to the furniture store really devastated the entire family.

"It's just heart wrenching...it's just a tragedy, it's like a death," said Vogt.

The family is relocating to 117 W. 4th Street. They are staying positive about the future of Michael and Dowd.

"Once we found the building and decided what we were doing ,it's been a purpose, it gave us drive...it's set us on a forward motion," said Vogt. 

In fact, Vogt's grandmother started the business in a smaller store, like the new location, decades ago.

"I would hope that she would be happy we are moving forward and you know it's kind of back to our roots as far as being in a building this size," said Vogt. "This is what she started in, so it's kind of a step back, but yet back to our roots...it's humbling starting forward, kind of like she did."

The owners say they hope to eventually be able to rebuild in the same location, but they are taking it one day at a time, working to open the new location.  At this point there is no open date set.

The fire also damaged a pharmacy and law firm, the cause of the fire is still unknown, but it did start in the furniture store.

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