On January 21, 2023, Sarah Biechele was sitting in her office when her son Adam came in and said, “Do you smell smoke?” Sarah was just about to answer him when a large cloud of smoke filled her office. Sarah had enough time to grab her computer and some papers and took them out the back door.
As she and Adam left the building, they saw flames coming from the back of the furniture store next door. Smoke continued to rise out of the back of the building as the fire department quickly acted to get the fire under control.
“The insurance adjuster came the next day and said we had to throw away all the inventory. I couldn’t believe that we had to throw away perfectly good merchandise.” Biechele said. “We had to completely start over with finding a place, getting new merchandise, etc. We were very lucky to be able to use the building next door which was the Sunsetter store.”
On March 11 the store finally reopened with brand new inventory.
“It felt like a brand-new business because we worked setting up everything and were still putting prices on the merchandise the night before the opening,” Biechele said.
The companies that Hilligoss uses such as Sketchers, Adidas, Born, New Balance, Red Wing, Irish Setter, and Thorogood immediately started sending merchandise to the store.
“The companies that we work with were fantastic at getting the merchandise to us,” Biechele added.
Biechele said they are so thankful for all the help from the community during this time.
“Right now, we have no set date on moving back into our store, but it will have a different look to it,” Biechele said. “We are so grateful to the community for supporting us during this time, but that is the way the people of Atchison are, they are just great.”