Fire Destroys Cumberland County Flower Shop
Posted January 10, 2005 10:37 a.m. EST
SPRING LAKE, N.C. — Fire destroyed a Cumberland County florist used by hundreds of deployed soldiers early Saturday.
Freeman's Florist owners Arthur and Laronda Freeman watched helplessly as their business burned.
"Your heart just falls to your feet. I was just amazed. You see other people's material burn, but you never think it's going to be yours," Arthur Freeman said.
When the sun came up, the couple sifted through the ashes to save what they could. Flames gutted the shop and destroyed most of the flowers.
They also lost a wall of memories. The store was filled with autographed pictures, post cards and money from around the world. All were souvenirs sent by Fort Bragg soldiers.
The owners said the military helped build their business, so they helped soldiers send gifts back home. The owners want to make sure the fire does not change that.
The Freemans take orders by phone and e-mail from deployed soldiers. The soldiers pay when they come home.
"So far all the orders we've had have been filled and sent out . So right now, that's a good thing," Freeman said.
The couple plans to do whatever it takes to continue filling orders including all those for Valentine's Day.
"A lot of material things in there were lost, but none of my family members were injured. "We've had a lot of friends come by. It means a lot," Freeman said.
The Freeman's said they will open their doors again.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Firefighters say at this point they do not suspect arson.