Eight fire trucks and 35 firefighters knocked down doors and cut into the roof of a Sioux Falls strip mall Wednesday to gain access to a fire in one of the businesses.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue says the fire was contained to two units of the strip mall and smoke damage was reported in the rest of the units.
"The landlord actually called me about midnight and said the building is on fire, your suite is involved,” said Cheryl Swolley, owner of Curves.
The fire was knocked down within 30 minutes. Swolley returned the next morning to assess the damage.
"The machines are all askew, the door was busted out, if you go in the back, there's tar down the wall," she said.
Despite the mess, and the overpowering smell of smoke, Swolly says she is relieved.
“I love the Sioux Falls Fire department. They let me peek in the door because I guess the property was still condemned, or whatever. So I peeked in the door, saw there was no fire damage, and the fire man says yeah, we kept the water out of your place. Which is awesome, all my equipment is electronic. So if there was water I probably would have lost my whole circuit."
On Friday, Swolley still couldn't do much to put her business back together.
"Right now we're in a holding pattern. They haven't turned the power back on in the building once they do that they'll try to get the cleaning crew in here. I don't have a lot of water damage but there’s a lot of smoke in there."
In the meantime, she's working on keeping her spirits up.
"Every once in a while, it still hits me, but you gotta get through it. You gotta. And we will survive, and yes, there will be a Curves in Sioux falls!"
Swolley says she wants to get curves classes back up and going as soon as possible.
She says the landlord did offer her a new space at the end of the complex that she plans to move into if the clean-up process in her current unit takes longer than expected.
She is keeping member updated via the Curves Facebook Page.
Other businesses, including Golden Harvest Chinese Restaurant and the Safari Restaurant and market remain closed as well.