Community rallies around burned Seminole Heights businesses - WNCN: News, Weather

Community rallies around burned Seminole Heights businesses

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Christi Hess says she knew her community would come through for two businesses that burned last month, but even she was surprised by the outpouring of support.

"I am very surprised,” said Hess. "We are continuing to get companies and individuals who are kind of falling all over themselves, figuring out ways that they can help these victims, and these two businesses stay in the neighborhood. "

Hess is the president of the Seminole Heights Foundation, and has been working to raise funds to benefit the employees of Domani's Bistro and the neighboring business, A Modern Line.

Domani's burnt to the ground last month. A Modern Line is adjacent to the bistro and was heavily damaged. An electrical or mechanical issue in a walk in freezer was the cause.

Since that fire, the foundation has raised nearly $7,000 for those businesses. Recently, Hess handed a thousand dollar check to A Modern Line's owner to help him secure new lease space -- and issued checks to four Domani's employees in the amount they received in their latest paychecks.

Hess says it's heartwarming to witness this level of support.

"I think people always assume Seminole Heights is an active, vibrant neighborhood. We're very close knit,” said Hess. "But until you're involved in a situation like this, you don't understand what that means."

There are a number of ways you can help. The foundation is selling T-shirts at several area businesses including Health Mutt on Central just south of Hanna. The shirts go for $20.

You can also make a donation. Checks can be made payable to the Seminole Heights Foundation with Fire Relief in the memo field to 921 E. Broad Street, Tampa 33604.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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