Bronzeville neighborhood business destroyed by fire during weekend lootings

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As business owners cleanup up the damage left behind from this weekend's lootings, some are finding their buildings cannot be saved.

Chella Holcomb owns the Luv Handles party store near 47th and Prairie in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

Her store was not vandalized but a next door athletic store was looted and a fire appears to have spread to her shop.

Chicago fire trucks returned there Tuesday morning but the damage had already been done.

"This isn't a franchise, this is a plan I drew, something I created myself," said Holcomb. "People don't understand what it's like to put your all and it's all gone."

Holcomb, who grew up in the neighborhood, said she saved up to open up her dream business, hoping to inspire positivity and more businesses to come to her neighborhood.

After being closed for COVID-19, she was set to re-open tomorrow.

"It was like a lost a family member," said Holcomb.

Holcomb said she feels deeply about both the concerns of police brutality and the survival of her small business.

"Listen, I totally understand, I am a black woman," she said. " I do understand the anger and frustration of what we've been going through for years and what we're still going through but I just don't feel like this is the answer to destroy black businesses."
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