MASONVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – The Cameron Peak Fire is causing serious concern for employees at the Masonville Mercantile. The town is under mandatory evacuation orders. Many are worried about their livelihoods and the area’s history.
“One of the misnomers is that it’s considered a store. It’s not really a store, it’s a community,” Bruce Cook said.
The Mercantile has been in continuous operation for 124 years. Since it was built, it has been a gathering place. However, the only people who can go there now are fire responders.
“Our place was the hub of all the fire workers, all of the personnel, so we had chili, we had coffee, tea whatever they needed. I brought donuts,” Holly Cook said.
Cook, her husband and employees had to leave the Mercantile behind as mandatory evacuations were ordered.
“They said it (the fire) came across to the water tower, which is behind Bob’s Place which is right across the street.”
Because of the store’s history and location, they’ve been trying to keep others updated.
“There was one gentleman, I can’t remember where he was from that sent a message last week, I believe in Europe that was concerned about the store,” Melanie Patton, a former owner and minority stakeholder said.
Crews have been keeping a close watch in the area of the store, but the couple hopes the entire community will be spared.
“There are some businesses up there that people don’t realize, a lot of wedding venues. People can have a nice wedding on a ranch,” Bruce said.
Those businesses have already been upended by the pandemic.
“It’s just one thing after another. They’re going to need support, and anything that people can help with or have a little compassion or even if it’s coming out saying, that’s all that counts,” he added.
DFPC’s Montrose helitack supporting the #Cameronpeakfire utilizing Plastic Sphere Dispenser (PSD) operations. This allows helicopters to drop plastic balls that slowly ignite to safely conduct burnout operations. pic.twitter.com/Ta2RT3q7CL
— COFirePrev&Control (@COStateFire) October 20, 2020
There’s a saying people use up there, it’s Masonville Strong, and as long as the fire passes, the residents will not be broken.