Downtown Visalia community kicks off week long fundraiser to benefit businesses destroyed by fire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Walking down Main Street in Downtown Visalia, you can still smell the burnt remains of three businesses destroyed by fire.

"It's kinda heartbreaking to see the places that I once loved are now burnt down," said Iris Cantrel.

What was once Cafe 225, Mama K's, Acapulco Jewelers is now a row of boarded up store fronts.

RELATED: Several businesses damaged in 3-alarm fire in Downtown Visalia

"It was a difficult time right near Christmas, and all these people lost their jobs right on the spot," said Paul Laufer.

The fire broke out Dec. 26 and at one point, flames were so massive the entire block was threatened.

A vantage point from a nearby garage shows the devastation and what seems like a long road to recovery.

"It's a very caring community and in times of trouble, people come together," said Alphedio Marcelino.

Downtown Visalians are working to take care of their own.

"It feels like every restaurant, every place, is a part of Visalia, and it's so amazing to see the community come together like this," said Cantrel.

Throughout the week, nearby establishments like the Fox Theatre across the street will host events or specials with proceeds benefiting the three Main Street businesses.

RELATED: Organizations to help employees affected by Downtown Visalia fire

"As Visalians, we're very proud of our downtown area. It was very sad," Marcelino said.

Many new businesses in the area are hosting specials as well, to raise funds for fire relief.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up for those who would like to help.

Here is a complete list of the events and specials:

The Planing Mill Artisan Pizzeria: Pizza with a Purpose
Jan. 23 from 5-8 p.m.
25% off all sales will be donated!

Downtown Rookies: Drink Special
Jan. 25, 26, 27 - All day

Come on down and try the special drink that Rookies is whipping up for the event! $1 of every special drink purchased will be donated!

Cellar Door and Sound N Vision: Benefit Concert
Jan. 20 from 5 p.m.
$10 suggested donation at door - raffle tickets - all ages welcome - 100% of proceeds will be donated!

Visalia Fox Theatre: Benefit Movie - Moonstruck
Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.
$5 - tickets available at the door, online, or at ticket office - all ages welcome - 100% of proceeds will be donated!

Akari Skin & Body Care
All week long!.
250% of gift certificate proceeds purchased during the week will be donated - 50% of services provided during the week will be donated!

Sol Bol
All week long!
5% of each signature Bol purchased during lunch hours (12-2) will be donated!

A&W Restaurants (Downtown Location)
All week long!
$1 of every combo meal sold will be donated!

Component Coffee Lab
All week long!
5% of ALL sales for the week! Any drink or food item

Quesadilla Gorilla
All week long!
5% of ALL sales for the week! Any drink, food, or merchandise item

Gourmet Desserts and Wedding Cakes
Jan. 21 - Jan. 25
10% of all items in the case

Brewbakers Brewing Company
All week long!
50 cents donated from every dessert item, Michelada, and Hop Local IPA pint purchased

Velouria Records
Jan. 20
Raffle donation to Cellar Door's event

For more information, please contact or call (559) 732-7737.
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