Zanesville small business owners lose everything in Masonic temple fire


ZANESVILLE – Sixty artists and small businesses lost everything after a fire Thursday night at the Masonic Temple in downtown Zanesville.

The prized works of art caught fire. Memories were strewn with ashes along with the interior of the historic Fourth Street building.

But for tenants who operated their businesses from the space they rented at the temple, the impact was also a financial burden.

Adrienne Hubert (left) and Joanna Burchett ventured downtown Friday morning to see the remains of the Masonic Temple, from which they based their two small businesses.

“It was a devastating loss for the Zanesville arts community… There was so much that we just lost as a whole,” said Joanna Burchett, owner of Southern Charm Handmade.

Masonic temple fire:Muskingum County braces for historic Zanesville Masonic Temple collapse after fire

She sells many of her printed t-shirts, mugs and handmade products online, but uses the space to store and produce them. Most of its inventory has been lost.

This is also where she directs business operations.

“Now tax time is approaching. All my receipts, all my business stuff is in my studio,” she said. “I can’t file taxes.”

Adrienne Hubert had just finished fitting out her studio for her company, The Purple Lily.

She is often there late at night, even though she was not there Thursday night. Her self-employment as a seamstress brought income to her family, but she also lost her inventory.

“I work regularly because I have kids, and I have things to do during the day, and I sometimes work until 3 am,” she said.

Rachel Worden said she was preparing to open her space shortly before the fire Thursday night for her company Creative Staffing Solutions.

She was going to launch her business during the First Friday Art Walk, which was to take place the day after the fire.

“Thirty minutes later my mom called me and told me the whole building was on fire and we never even got a chance to do our grand opening,” she said.

She is now looking for a new space to rent for her business.

Pictures:Masonic temple in downtown Zanesville destroyed by fire

Burchett said she had received some generosity from some of her customers – many orders had already been placed and they told her to keep their money – but that does not replace what was lost .

“My brain is just mush,” she said.

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