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Live Shot | Harpers Ferry fire destroys 8 businesses

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - For the owner of Tenfold Fair Trade Collection, Martha Ehlman, her business was all about lifting up other artists.

"We sold products that were hand crafted from developing countries, from all over the world,” Ehlman told WHAG Thursday morning.

However, after a fire tore through her business Thursday morning, the community has now turned to help lift her up.

Tenfold was one of eight businesses and two apartments that were affected by the fire.

"My husband received the call,” she said. “He told me that our place was on fire."

Because of Harpers Ferry’s unique history, residents said these buildings cannot be replaced.

“It's sinking in now,” Elhman said, eight hours into the fire, as her building smoldered behind her. “It’s just so unbelievable, but I'm just grateful there was no loss of human life."

While Ehlman lost her livelihood and main source of income, a photo snapped during the fire fight helps her stay positive.

"The fireman were shooting their water on the building…and there was rainbow there,” she said, smiling. “So I can just hope for rebirth for all of us."

Elhman said she speaks for all of Harpers Ferry business owners when she says that the fire won't get the best of them.

"Harpers Ferry has been down many times,” she said. “We’ve been through floods and fires before, so we'll be back."

The governor's office sent over officials from homeland security and the state fire marshal's office to assist in the investigation.

As a tribute to their tight-knit community, residents dropped off water, iced tea and granola bars to firefighters throughout the day.

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