Lovelanders help one another in aftermath of devastating downtown fire

Posted at 1:35 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 01:35:20-04

LOVELAND, Ohio -- The Works Pizza was busy all day Wednesday, according to general manager Tasha Petry, and that traffic was driven by customers who wanted to do what she says Lovelanders do best: Give.

"It's just overwhelming to see the support of Loveland, but that's what makes Loveland the best community," she said.

The Works was one of several businesses on Loveland Street to set aside a portion of its Wednesday earnings for people who lost their homes and businesses in a devastating fire May 28. The blaze gutted the historic downtown buildings that housed several apartments as well as businesses such as Tano Bistro and Catering.

GALLERY: Fire scars heart of downtown Loveland

It was a serious blow, but the friends and neighbors of the victims immediately began planning a benefit to help them through the weeks and months ahead. Gabbie Rohdenburg, who came to The Works with her two granddaughters, said there's a contagion in the town -- one that encourages everyone to do their best to help everyone else. 

"You catch that fever of Loveland person, and you got to do what you can," she said.

Even Kevin Egan, one of the victims whose businesses were damaged by the fire, stepped in Wednesday to give what he could for the sake of the others. He said he was humbled by the support they'd all received from the community.

"People are great," he said. "They just want to be out showing their support, and that's the great thing about the people of Loveland."