The owner of a store gutted by a structure fire in downtown Pueblo says he was at work about an hour before the fire erupted.
Pueblo firefighters responded to a structure fire on the 300 block of Court Street on Tuesday night that destroyed Office Systems Inc. and Johnson's Sport and Ski.
About an hour into the firefight, Lewis Runco, president of Office Systems Inc. arrived on the scene.
"It was probably about 7:30 [p.m.]. The building was already engulfed and so we were all pretty distraught," Runco said. "You realize that in life sometimes we all go through some difficult times."
He spent hours watching firefighters work to put out the flames. The next day, his business was back up and running from his home.
"Thanks to some wonderful employees and family, by the time I got home that night, they had already set up a step by step plan for the next day."
What's been most remarkable to Runco is the support he's received from his customers.
"I've also been offered by several wonderful people in the community, and they know who they are, space until we can get back up and going and so I really appreciate that," he said.
Runco recommends that business owners have a place in place for worst-case scenearios. He had his computers backed up and said most of what was destroyed can be replaced.
"it's just difficult and something you never think that you'll have to deal with," Runco said.
He's been operating his office equipment store at the downtown location for 12 years. He hasn't been inside the store to assess the damage but says the fire destroyed equipment, supplies and furniture.
Customers can contact Office System Inc. at 719-544-2067.