KINGMAN - The son of the owner of the iconic Rosie's Den that was destroyed by fire last week said he has been overwhelmed by the community response to help the business rebuild.
"I feel like I'm Amish and my barn just burned down and the whole community turned out to help rebuild it," said Randy Larsen, son of Rosie Larsen.
While Rosie's Den carried other forms of insurance, it didn't have fire insurance, Randy said. He said the insurance issue was complicated by the fact that Rosie's Den was located so far outside of a fire protection district, leaving the business on the hook not only for expenses to rebuild, but most likely for the cost of response by the fire departments as well.
Golden Valley Fire Marshall Randy Osborn said he believes the fire was caused by a combination of a faulty, or too large a circuit breaker and improper wiring.
To compound the financial loss of the business itself, 20 employees are - temporarily at least - out of a job. But if community response is any indication, those people will be back to work soon. Larsen said he's had every one from contractors to architects to electricians come out to volunteer their services. One company has agreed to supply all the windows needed for a rebuild.
The volunteers have already made significant progress in cleaning up the charred remains of the building, which was built in 1933. Rosie Larsen bought the business 27 years ago and aimed to make the convenience store and attached bar and restaurant more like a den inside a home.
"We've got two bucket trucks and front loaders here hauling Rosie's away truck by truck, I'm sorry to say," Larsen said.
Some of those loads included thousands of dollars worth of food that was delivered a day before the fire, along with the remnants of a new walk-in cooler and other equipment upgrades made to the kitchen just before the fire.
The location is still attracting 20 visitors every hour, who stop to survey the damage and offer their best wishes on rebuilding. A lottery machine was delivered by Saturday afternoon, ensuring that those visitors can still buy their tickets. Rosie's Den is one of the top sellers of Powerball tickets in the country.
A fire rebuild fund has been established at the National Bank of Arizona branch at 3825 Stockton Hill Road.