BOISE -- The manager of a faith-based thrift store in Boise says despite a weekend burglary and fire, her organization will maintain its charity mission dedicated to helping those in need.
New Again thrift store manager Laura Stinson said Sunday's incident was "devastating" due to the upcoming seasonal need for warm clothing and other charity items her store provides. "We give a lot of coats, and shoes, and blankets and heaters away," said Stinson.
Boise Fire Battalion Chief J.D. Ellis says firefighters were called to the New Again Thrift Store early Sunday morning after a cab driver saw flames and smoke coming from the building.
Ellis says it appears one or more burglars broke into the building by breaking a window with a rock, and that they used a hammer to try to break into cash registers and a safe before lighting multiple fires in the building.
Stinson confirmed that two cash registers were smashed, along with a piano, and dozens of other items. She also said the contents of the store likely cannot be saved due to smoke and water damage.
"It was disappointing because we don't make anything over there (New Again Thrift Store) that we don't pour back into the community," said Stinson.
The Boise Police Dept. is investigating the suspicious fire and burglary, but so far no arrests have been made in the case.
"We really don't believe it was someone who knew anything about what the thrift store does," Stinson said.
New Again Thrift Store's biggest concern is how it can continue to help those in need.
"Even though we don't have a physical store, we have really strong hearts of volunteers and if we do not have the item we will try to find it," said Stinson.
Next Monday, New Again Thrift Store plans to open a tent in their parking lot. "Get all of the coats and hats that we have left in the clothing trailer out, boots stuff like that, so people can still shop or we can benevolence them," said Stinson.
But Stinson says New Again Thrift Store needs to get up and running because it is has become more than just a place to shop. "Without the store being open that is a lot of people in the community that come in for support that aren't going to have it," said Stinson.
Forms requesting help from New Again Thrift Store were destroyed in the fire. Stinson says she wants to make sure those people get the help they need. If you filled out a form and haven't heard from anyone, Stinson wants you to call Calvary Chapel at 321-7440.
Even though everyone involved with New Again Thrift Store is upset about what happened to their store Stinson made it clear they have already forgiven whoever may be responsible. "What we don't want is for that individual or those individuals to walk around in guilt and shame," said Stinson. "That is not what we would want. We want them to know they are loved and forgiven."
The New Again Thrift Store is run by Calvary Chapel.