By Kathy Walsh

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – There is good news for Goodwill Industries of Denver. The retail thrift store in Lakewood will reopen this week.

Seven months ago, it had to close after a fire caused extensive damage. The entire staff came together to get things back up and running.

(credit: CBS)

“I came in this morning saying ‘Wow. Excellent,'” said Dennis, a member of the janitorial staff at Goodwill.

He liked what he was seeing inside the store at 1450 S. Wadsworth Boulevard. There was no trace of the fire that did major damage back on March 25.

Dennis (credit: CBS)

“It was scary,” he told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.

The fire started early in the morning in a trailer parked on the loading dock. No one was hurt, but the trailer and donated items inside were destroyed.

(credit: CBS)

Luckily, the building didn’t burn.

“But because it triggered the sprinkler system and the smoke, it damaged pretty much everything inside the store,” said Jessica Hudgins, PR & Digital Media Manager, Goodwill Industries of Denver.

Since then, repairs have been made from floor to ceiling. New donations are now on display.

(credit: CBS)

“These are pretty fragile, handle with care,” said Dennis, as he dusted some breakable items.

The 43 year old has been a janitor with Goodwill for 22 years and takes the bus to work. When the Lakewood location closed, it was a major inconvenience.

“He had to go all the way out to Aurora to our Iliff store,” said Hudgins.

“I-225 gets a headache,” said Dennis.

That headache will be gone in plenty of time for the holidays.

(credit: CBS)

The Grand Reopening is Thursday, and the ribbon will be cut by employees, including Dennis, thrilled to be back in their own neighborhood.

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Proceeds from Goodwill Retail Stores fund the nonprofit’s career-focused community programs that help reverse the cycle of poverty for at-risk youth, adults with barriers to employment and individuals with disabilities across the Denver metro area and northern Colorado.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.


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