REDDING, Calif. – In 2018 on July 23, the Carr Fire ravaged the community of Redding. People are still taking steps to rebuild.
Sunset Cleaners has been around since 1991. The shop still dealing with the aftermath of the Carr Fire. But while also dealing with the recovery, the cleaners fighting to keep its doors open during the coronavirus.
“For the business, it was very stressful because we didn’t know what was going to happen and the fire got really close,” said Amanda Geopfert, who has been working with Sunset Cleaners for 13 years.
“It was extremely stressful for my boss, Uwe, the employees, and their families.”
The Carr Fire forced Geopfert and other shop workers to evacuate the area.
“We had many conversations of closing down the shop because of the Carr Fire,” said Geopfert.
“We are the neighborhood dry cleaner for this area, for this part of town.”
Two years later, they're still feeling the effects.
“We were hoping that the houses would get put up faster,” said Geopfert.
“A lot of our customers took the insurance from their homes and they moved to a different town or across town.”
After the Carr Fire, Sunset Cleaners forced with a hard decision: stay open or shutter their doors.
“We kept going and we actually applied for the disaster loan,” said Geopfert. “We received the disaster loan and that kept us going.”
Sunset Cleaners still trying to build the business back up. But it hasn't been an easy road.
The coronavirus pandemic hit. At the start of it the owner, Uwe Lemburg, passed away in March.
“We did commercials, done deals, and we've tried everything that we could to get our name out.”
Sunset Cleaners doing its best to keep its doors open during the coronavirus, while also living with the effects of the Carr Fire. The shop hopes to see its customers return.
“It doesn't matter what they'll come in with, they'll come in with one garment or 10 garments,” said Geopfetrt.
“They'll tell me that they want to see the shop come in here, they're going to tell their friends to come here.”