Van Businesses Destroyed By Fire Clean Up

It wasn't business as usual for some in downtown Van. Six weeks before the deadline to file for taxes, a tax service building was destroyed by a fire over the weekend. The blaze also caused damage to buildings next door. Shortly after 6:30 a.m. Saturday a fire broke out on East Main St.

The owner of the tax service is trying to get back up and running to make sure her client's taxes are filed on time.  Rozanna McCallum happened to stop by her tax service business in Van early Saturday morning to get some papers for her husband. But when she walked through the door, she said, "There was too much smoke. I couldn't get in so I shut the door and told my husband to call 911," Rozanna McCallum, the owner Rozanna's Accounting And Tax Service.

About 50 firefighters responded to the blaze. But in the end the building and everything in it was destroyed. "No time is a good time for a fire and this is really not a good time but it's better now than April 1st," said McCallum.

Mccallum says she has about 450 clients from all over East Texas and even some from Dallas. She says most of their information is in her computer and that it can be retrieved. But she says, there are at least 50 of them that she had not had a chance to save. "There was some of the paperwork that was not in the computer yet. But it's not going to be as bad as it would appear on the outside maybe," said McCallum. McCallum's friends are helping to organize fundraisers since McCallum had no insurance.

"I just wanna do everything I can to help," said Becky Jackson, Rozanna's client.  "She works from daylight until 10, 11, 12 o'clock at night. Anytime you call her, she's up here doing taxes, accounting for people," said Jackson.

McCallum says she'll spend the next week cleaning up this building and relocating to get back in business. "I plan on doing tax returns no later than Monday," said McCallum.  McCallum says she is going to figure out which customers will need to get copies of their paperwork for her to process their taxes. She says she expects it to take her about a week to figure it all out.  Also, a benefit fund has been set up for Rozanna at First State Bank in Van. You can also make a donation at any Austin Bank.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.