‘We are so optimistic’: GiGi’s Playhouse plans on forging ahead after fire
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Business owners in a South Fargo strip mall are piecing together how to move forward after a fire ripped through the building Tuesday.
Below a charred roof at the strip mall, three words hang tough: educate, inspire and believe.
Those three words embody the mission behind GiGi’s Playhouse: North Dakota’s first and only Down syndrome achievement center.
“We will get through this together and we will all rise together to really help GiGi’s back to help educate, inspire and believe,” said GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Director Heather Lorenzen. “When we look at the facility here and being here for over five and a half years, it is devastating because we lost everything.”
GiGi’s unit was completely destroyed by the fire and the non-profit has been forced to temporarily pause its programs.
“We will be coming back; we’re just not sure where at this time but we are looking to rebuild as we are stronger together,” Lorenzen said.
Right next door, owners of a financial services office clean out their space after it was partially water-damaged.
“Good thing I have rubber boots on, it’s very squishy,” said Bruce Seibel with Ohio National Financial Services. “I was very fortunate. The firemen did a wonderful job at getting this fire put out before it got to our end.”
Ohio National Financial Services has been in this space for nearly six years.
“Our lease was running out here at the end of the year, so we weren’t sure what we were going to do, but this probably forced our hand. We’ve already located a spot to move downtown,” Seibel explained. “We’re going to stay in business and press on.”
Those at GiGi’s also plan on pressing on, but say they can’t do it without the community’s financial support.
“It’s devastating,” said Lorenzen. “However, we are so optimistic.”
Optimistic and ready to get back to helping educate, inspire and believe.
To help GiGi’s rebuild, click here.