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Community members raising money for business after fire


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — After a fire left a well known local business destroyed, community members are stepping up to help those affected.

Early on the morning of August 1, a fire broke out at R&R Tent Rentals near South Webster.

The business would provide tents for events all over the region and beyond.

Owner Rodney Wright says nearly their entire inventory was destroyed.

“I started out with two tents 25 years ago, and I probably had 130 tents at this point,” Wright said.

Wright says the most painful part of the loss was two tractors that belonged to his father and grandfather.

Kristie Johnson is a teacher in South Webster High School. She says the business has been a staple in the community.

“We have a few businesses that always give to the school, and he was a huge one,” Johnson said. “During COVID, when we finally got to have prom in 2021, he donated all the tents, tables, chairs; well over $3,000 worth of equipment he donated for our kids so they could have the night of their lives. He does stuff like that for us all the time.”

Ryan Fenton teaches at Bloom-Vernon Elementary and used to work at R&R.

“When I graduated, Rodney gave me an opportunity, as well as many other kids, to work and make some money,” Fenton said.

After the fire, Fenton and Johnson began organizing a golf scramble to try to raise $10,000 for those impacted by the fire.

“We were just heartbroken for him and wanted to help him,” Johnson said.

“If it helps him just buy one piece of equipment he lost in the fire, that’s beneficial, but also to help the employees that will be displaced temporarily,” Fenton said.

“Every little bit is going to help,” Wright said.

Wright says it’s humbling and moving to see those he’s served over the years making the effort to help him rebuild.

“Everybody in this community is offering up help,” he said. “I’m speechless. It just brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. We’re going to build it back one day at a time.”

The golf scramble is scheduled for Saturday, September 17 at the Little Scioto Golf Course.

People can register by contacting Fenton at Ryan.Fenton@bvjeeps.org

People can become hole sponsors by contacting Johnson at Kristie.Johnson@bvjeeps.org

Wright says it’s believed the fire may have been started by a lightning strike.



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