MILLCREEK, Utah (ABC4) – Just as some small businesses in Utah began to recover after over a year of hardship caused by the pandemic, another obstacle has come their way.

Wednesday, crews responded to a massive three-alarm structure fire at a construction site in Millcreek. While firefighters were able to quickly tackle the fire that same day, over a dozen businesses in the area had already experienced damage from the surrounding flames.

One of those nearby businesses was Tokai Sushi, a restaurant and sushi bar owned by a Korean couple, Kelly and Paul.

“Last year…business really really hurt,” Paul said Friday. “This year, more better business. Our customers are really really happy and we are working more happy, but the fire has been very tough on me and my family.”

Due to the fire’s damage in the area, some local businesses have been forced to stop operating until repairs can be made.

“If you look at the storefronts, we have a very diverse group. We have people who are providing services, foods, hair cutting, pharmacy, and they’re not working,” said Mequette Sorenson, property owner and landlord. “So if they’re not working, that means they’re not earning.”  

Sorenson organized a GoFundMe to help Kelly and Paul financially during this difficult time. To donate, click here.

“This was no cause of them, nor us, and fire isn’t. Everybody has been devastated by this, but these small business owners especially,” said Sorenson. “That’s something that our group can do is try to speak out and ask compassionately for people to help out.”