A local business that many Modestans considered a landmark was destroyed during a massive fire Friday evening.
The owner of Crescent Work & Outdoor told ABC10 his family opened the store in 1946.
“Our grandfather started it as a military surplus store, and it kind of morphed into work wear,” said co-owner, Craig Stott. “His attitude was: trends will come and go, but the working man will never die.”
Stott says his company makes the uniforms for a lot of the first responders in the area.
“We feel really bad because we have hundreds of uniforms that were supposed to go out to people graduating in academies or law enforcement and we can’t provide them with that,” Stott said.
Stott said he still hasn’t fully processed the thought of his business being gone but says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community over the weekend.
“The community has been just unreal,” Stott added. “It is one person after the other after the other that is just coming up to us, hugging us.”
Longtime customer Ray Nipper stopped by the corner of H and 8th Street to see what was left of Crescent.
“This is a landmark.,” Nipper said. “It’s family owned and that hurts. Anytime you have a family lose something, it’s devastating.”
According to Stott, about half of his employees were at the store Friday when the fire broke out. He says they were all able to evacuate safely.
“We feel unfortunate for our staff,” Stott said. “We have about 30 employees right now, and we’re all going to be torn up here for a bit. They’re family – all of them – it was heartbreaking to be there with them.”
Stott says his family still hasn't determined if they will relocate or rebuild the business at the same location, but there's one thing he is certain about.
"I can tell you Crescent will bounce back," Stott added.
The Modesto Fire Department says a firefighter suffered heat exhaustion during the fire, but he is home now and doing well. Officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.