BLOWING ROCK, N.C. (WBTV) - The fire lasted just 15 minutes Wednesday night in Blowing Rock. That was long enough, though, to gut the Take Heart shop on the main road through town.
“It just destroyed about everything inside,“ said neighboring business owner David Barker.
Barker and many others showed up Thursday to help clear the burned debris and salvage what could be salvaged.
The owner, Sheri Furman, was choked up much of the day because of all the outpouring of help. Despite the devastation inside the building where vintage and new items and clothing were sold, Sheri was upbeat.
“We haven’t lost anything,” she said.
That’s because the important things were spared from the flames. Just feet from the building is a towering tree that is filled with small white cards. Each one has a special prayer or thought left behind by a visitor. Sheri started the Prayer Tree, as she calls it, last summer. Now there’s an estimated 13,000 cards on the tree, placed there by visitors from around the world.
Despite the flames being just a few feet away from the cards, “We didn’t lose a single one, not one,” said Sheri.
Her friends say a higher power must have been involved. Whatever the reason, it has brought people together in the community, said David Barker. He is hoping Sheri will rebuild the business.
“She is the heart of this community, doing all sorts of things,” he said.
Barker says the people will help Sheri all they can.
She added, “This will be Blowing Rock’s finest hour.”