(KMOV) - It was the worst fire St. Libory has ever seen. Brad Schmitz, the co-owner of Wenneman's Meat Market says, "I dont remember anything hardly that morning other than standing there, watching in disbelief and thinking that this really cant be happening."
Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours but in the end, Wenneman's was destroyed. Since then other businesses have been struggling. Some say the meat market is what brought people to town. "We've noticed traffic has been down a lot especially on weekends. Saturday was a big day for Wenneman's. A lot of customers come in on Saturday and we've noticed our traffic has been down a lot," says Casey Trentman.
Dozens of employees lost their jobs. Some of them, even months later, still not working. Jobs in St. Libory dont come easily. Residents say somebody who loses their job in St. Libory is kind of limited on what they can do.
Construction is already underway. The new meat market is scheduled to open in October. The plan is to hire more than 40 employees and bring the ones back who lost their jobs. Schmitz says, "they were hoping this whole time that we'd get up and going. They've backed us from day 1. It's been great for me and Brad to feel that."
The new facility will be more than 22,000 square feet. Built in the exact same location, these owners hope a new meat market means more people again.