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'I’ve been trying to keep from crying': Fire destroys Cincinnati business, competitors lend helping hand

AC's T-Shirt Factory fire
Posted at 12:07 AM, Jun 17, 2022

CINCINNATI — Anthony Reed's livelihood went up in flames Wednesday morning. The owner of AC's T-Shirt Factory said chemicals they use on clothes spilled inside the building, sparking flames.

Not only was everything a total loss, but Reed said an employee was seriously burned.

"I lost a lot this week," Reed said. "I’ve been trying to keep from crying and not think about everything we lost. I have a friend laying in the hospital at the same time — it’s just been too much and I’ve been trying to stay calm and keep my head clear so I can open things back up."

Reed said the building burnt quickly because of the materials — cotton, paper and foam — they store. He said they were working on several orders for the upcoming Juneteenth holiday when the fire happened.

While it's a tough loss, Reed said he hasn't had to look too far for help. AC's T-Shirt Factory has designed clothes for several Cincinnati-area businesses. Some of the companies he works with — and even some competitors — are lending a hand.

“They called me up and told me, 'Hey we’re going to lend you anything you want — just let us know so you can get back on your feet,'” Reed said.

The companies AC's has worked with are encouraging customers to donate and help Reed get back on his feet.

“(We're) going to really pull together with him and help him get his business back up,” said Jessie Carradine, Reed's relative and owner of Carradine Youth Boxing Academy, which operates next door to where the fire happened.

“That’s been the most help, “ Reed said. “Everybody coming together and seeing what I need.”

Reed is accepting donations through CashApp. His name on the app is $payacreed.

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