Its' been little over a month since a fire in Kaplan destroyed three buildings in the downtown area. One of those buildings housed a skating rink called Extreme Wheelz. That rink was a hub for children throughout Vermilion Parish to visit on the weekends.
Most of the rumble left behind has been cleared out but the pain from that day is still fresh for owner Patches Bell, who says she will rebuild to keep the kids off the streets. But the unexpected financial burden is making that difficult to do.
Bell says she is required by the state to get an architect which will run her between 15 to 20 thousand dollars. That along with other items is not going to be cheap. Bell may have found a financial backer to help her. That backer heard Bell's story from The Ellen Show's Facebook page. How much that person, who is from Texas, will help her out is still yet to be determined.
But Bell says no matter what, she will rebuild and will do it for the kids. There is one fundraiser planned for this July but if you would like to help in anyway, you can contact Patches Bell at 337 652 3600.
Kaplan Fire Cleanup
The cleanup began in Kaplan Tuesday after a massive fire destroyed three buildings in the downtown area Monday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing, but the fire is being traced to a single candle that got knocked over.
One of the buildings destroyed was said to be the oldest building in Kaplan and home to a skating rink, Extreme Wheelz, a safe haven for kids in the area. Today the owner of that business is speaking out about the support her community has shown her and her family during this tough time.
Patches Bells says she has had kids in the area come up to her, offering her their birthday money to help rebuild. Bell says you don't realize how much kids are affected until something like this happens.
Bell hopes to rebuild so the kids will have a place to go. The state fire marshal has ruled the fire accidental, but is still investigating. No one was hurt in that fire.
Fire Crews Battle Kaplan Blaze
Multiple fire crews from Abbeville and the surrounding area spent most of the day Monday fighting a blaze on Cushing Street in Kaplan. According to witnesses at least three buildings were engulfed in the flames including the skating rink and the MMA Training facility. The Fire began at an empty building that was formerly a pharmacy known as "The Prescription Shoppe." No injuries have been reported.