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Thrift shop survives fire, offers free items

Posted January 4, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— One year ago a small brush fire nearly destroyed the Hidden Treasures thrift shop in Raleigh.

While playing as his favorite superhero, Superman, Caiden Towers, 4, first saw the fire inching closer to the store his mother, April Towers, manages.

“I saw the smoke coming on top of the building. That's what I saw,” Caiden told WRAL News last year. “My mom called the firemen.”

When firefighters arrived, they immediately got everyone out of the building. The fire was just feet away from the back door, but the firefighters stopped it before it got into the store.

Little Superman fills out role as big hero

“Caiden – he saved the building,” Towers said. “We are very thankful.”

The store was just off of Capital Boulevard when the fire broke out. It has since moved to 5540 Atlantic Springs Drive.

Thrift shop helps struggling families Thrift shop helps struggling families

The store offers low prices to help struggling families, and once every few weeks, Towers said, gives away toys and clothing to needy families even if they can't afford the items.

“I think it’s great. This is the time for giving. It’s hard times for everybody, so a little free stuff for everybody is great,” shopper Joliene Riters said.

On Sunday, about a dozen families took advantage of free children’s clothing and toys.

“I don’t understand why she’s doing it, but she’s really nice to do it,” shopper Carol Cooper said.


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  • superman Jan 5, 2009

    It is inspiring to see the needy post on this site. They must have a computer and internet access!

  • MEME1180 Jan 5, 2009

    April must be a very kind and generous soul. Its always nice to know that people like her still exist.

  • grass1st Jan 5, 2009

    Hello April:
    I want to say that I really appreciate your giving heart to the community - it is wonderful & you will be blessed for it!!!

    I have 2 children a 1 yr old & a 14 yr old that were in need of coats, shoes food etc, I lost my job I had been struggling just to pay bills. I was not able to properly provide.

    April helped with everything and more. I am very pleased that I started with a new job and things are looking up. I was behind in rent & lights... but SHE gave me hope!
    You give me hope!

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!KEEP GOING!!!!!

  • skyinc Jan 5, 2009

    our family was saved by april she gave us everything when we had know where to turn. god bless her and the work that she does

  • pebbles262004 Jan 5, 2009

    This is really nice of her to do something like that. She will get hers in return someday

  • busyb97 Jan 5, 2009

    That's great!

    But maybe she saw the new law that is about to go into effect that would severely hamper her business. (HR 4040 - Consumer Product Safety Reform Bill). I haven't had a chance to read the full law, but it requires the chemical testing and labels on products- especially kids products. Great idea, but poorly thought out about the impact to business such as this. Thrift stores, consignment, small business, stay-at-home business, even your average garage sale will be impacted most likely- and not for the good.