Massive Fire Guts Building, Neighbors Saddened

Paul Gutierrez

OMAHA (KPTM) - A north central Omaha thrift store is now nothing more than a pile of rubble after an overnight fire.

It happened near the corner of 73rd and Maple Streets around 11:00 P.M. Sunday night. By the following morning, firefighters were still at the scene hosing down the damage and keeping hot spots in check.

"That's really sad," said Susan Ocken, a shocked neighbor.

Ocken remembers when the thrift store was once a pharmacy. For her, years of memories have turned into charred debris.

"I thought it was a good place and now it's gone."

Thrift store workers were just as shocked. One employee found out the hard way what had happened when he arrived on site.

"What the heck is going on? How did this happen?," asked Justin Haden.

Haden now faces a new challenge: finding a job. It's a task, however, he says he's up for.

"I'll bounce back. It'll be okay.

Investigators say the fire was so bad it may be a while before they can determine a cause.