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Business Owners in Shock After Hadley Fire

photo(130)HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB) — Hassan Oulbid was off from work on Sunday evening. His partner, Mohammed, had just left their Casablanca Convenience Store minutes before the fire.

“I was in a total shock. I was at home and a friend of mine saw a lot of traffic and police and they saw the blaze. They said ‘There’s a fire in the plaza where you have the store,’ I called my partner asked if he heard about this, and we rushed in,” Oulbid says.

In fact, the partners had just renovated their nearly four year old business, which was starting to see an uptick in sales.

College Pro Computers also had been on an upswing. The 25-year-old computer repair shop serves folks all over the Valley remotely and in store, experiencing significant growth over the last year.

Coupled with their own computers and those they were working on, the fire destroyed about $500,000 worth of equipment.

”We’re trying to see what we can salvage. We’re working with everybody to see what we can get to. We can’t even get to the scene. We don’t even know how bad machines are, and what’s going on,” explains owner Steven Marcil.

Both owners were renting space, and have been in contact with the building’s owner.

Even in the midst of all of this, both business owners say they have no choice but to push through and eventually rebuild.

“I think College Pro will go on, either at this location, or another location and we’ve had calls from other computer shops we’ve worked with, and we’re willing to do what we can,” Marcil added.

“We’ll have to rebuild our business. We’ll have to do whatever it takes to build our business. Like I said, it’s something we are attached to,” Oulbid notes.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.