I am a victor, not a victim!First Financial Bank - Eastland provided Wednesday's noon meal to business owners and first responders.


by: Debra Eaton

Owners of the businesses who were located in the Shady Oaks Shopping Center have begun the massive clean up of their buildings
following the Tuesday afternoon fire.

Despite the devastation caused, business owners have remained positive about their future operations. On the day following the fire,
Cone C. Rice, D.D.S and wife Katherine were on-site assessing the damage to their office. Katherine donned a shirt inscribed with the
words "I am a victor, not a victim!" During converstaion, Katherine said "Clint Coffee is the greatest! He filed our claim last night,
even before he filed his own. He really is a 'Good Neighbor'" she added. Dr. Rice stated that he received over 50 calls the night of
the fire. "People from everywhere have offered their help. I feel like George Bailey in the ending of It's A Wonderful Life." he added.
Katherine concluded by saying "I can feel everyone praying for us. I appreciate everyone reaching out to us." There has been no
decision yet as to when or where the dentist office will reopen.

According to City Manager, Ron Duncan, a total of 19 different departments responded to the fire. Two firefighters received
sprained ankles and one pet died, other than that, there were no injuries.

First Financial Bank in Eastland cooked hot dogs and provided lunch for business owners and first responders on Wednesday, April

As of this time Comet Cleaners remains open and in full operation at their location at Shady Oakes Shopping Center.

City and Rural Rides (C.A.R.R.) remains operational and will relocate to 611 W. Commerce Street next week.

Phancy Nails will relocate to 1300 Conrad Hilton Blvd in Cisco. Owner Tina Phan can be reached at (817)781-1256.

Nature's Health Shop will move to 1481 E. Main Street in Eastland. According to owner, David Beaudrice, they will be in the same
location as Pizza Hut and will be in the half of the building that is currently unoccupied. Beaudrice can be reached at (254)629-2020.

Lily's Nails has temporarily set up shop at 1008 W. Main Street in Eastland and can be reached at (254)629-2777.

Clint Coffee, State Farm Insurance will locate at Amy's Hallmark and Merle Norman; 939 E. Main Street. Amy will merge with
Heaven Sent Floral in the building at 937 E. Main.

Girling Hospice will temporarily share space with Girling Health Care Inc at 405 E. Commerce Street in Eastland.

The owners of Cash Kingdom, Play Off Sports, and Texas Donuts could not be reached for comment at this time.

In speaking with business owners today, the only need that has been expressed at this time is for continued PRAYERS,
CARDBOARD BOXES AND TRASH BAGS.Perhaps a few could benefit from donations of bottled water as they continue in the
clean up.