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Shop owner unsure of future after fire damages building

By Bianca Montes
July 30, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.
Updated July 31, 2014 at 2:31 a.m.


Emma Gomez-Cavazos expected to walk into work and start working on jewelry creations Wednesday. But instead, she was greeted with a thick cloud of black smoke when she opened the door of her single-room gift shop on South Bridge Street.

Victoria Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 10:17 a.m. at Emma's Gift Shop in the 500 block of South Bridge Street.

Battalion Chief Shannon Martin said a small fire in the back of the building had filled the room with smoke, causing extensive damage. The scene was cleared just after 11 a.m.

Gomez-Cavazos began creating jewelry more than 20 years ago with trinkets customers brought in. She then moved into the South Bridge Street shop three years ago.

"It was exactly what I was looking for," she said about the building. "My prayers were answered - now, I don't know what I'm going to do."

While Gomez-Cavazos is grieving the loss of her shop, she said she's more worried about items that a customer brought in from a safari.

"I just feel so bad," she said. "All I know is that it hurts."

Gomez-Cavazos hasn't had a chance to go back to her shop and access the damage, and she's hopeful that once it's cleaned she can return to work. The 720-square-foot building is owned by Paulina Banda, of Victoria, and has an estimated value of $15,060.

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