Business Owner Moved In Days Before Fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/21/06-Gilmer

Business Owner Moved In Days Before Fire

Just 15 days before the Old Town Mall fire in Gilmer, one business owner had just opened her doors. Last Thursday night, the fire ripped through the 77-year-old building, destroying it and all of the businesses inside. An East Texas businesswoman saw everything she saved for go up in flames. 

"It was just literally up in smoke, it was hard to deal with."

Ellie Moss of Gilmer is a proud single mom, who after years of hard work and dreaming of her own business, started up "Captured Moments Photography."

"When I got into photography professionally I knew it was going to be hard," she says.

But nothing could have ever prepared her last Thursday night.

"I shake myself, 'Ellie wake up, you're gonna wake up, this isn't true, this didn't happen.'"

After just 15 days inside the Old Town Mall," Ellie watched her new-found business burn to the ground.  

"You just watch it, you know, I guess trying to understand it or hope that they're going to get it out and hope that you can get your stuff outta there," Ellie says.

What she lost was photography equipment adding up to thousands of dollars, but one of the worst things was not having insurance. 

"Fifteen days. I had tomorrow, I could have gotten insurance tomorrow. Tomorrow doesn't come, you gotta live for today."

Tuesday, all that remains of Ellie's business and the mall is rubble and burnt down walls.

But with that loss, comes her trying to get a birthday present for her son. His birthday is on Christmas.   

"Everything that you do you do for your child...I'll make his Christmas somehow, I'll make his birthday somehow...it's going to be harder than it would have been."

But Ellie says she hasn't given up on her dream just yet.  In fact, she says she plans to re-open someday. She says next time, she will buy insurance opening day and plans on storing all of her photographs on an external hard drive, locked away in a fire-proof safe.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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