“We are devastated by the fire that happened at Boise International Market on Saturday night,” said co-owner Lori Porreca in a statement on Monday.
Flames swallowed nearly 20 businesses housed in the building after an accidental fire started in a kitchen trash can, the Boise Fire Department reported. No injuries were reported.
The market, located near the southwest corner of Franklin and Curtis roads, serves as a multicultural center and business incubator. Vendors, most of whom are refugees, sold food, clothes, jewelry and other goods from India, Africa and the Middle East.
Porreca and Miguel Gaddi, who launched the market, were out of town to get married when the fire broke out.
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After learning about the fire early Sunday morning, and they canceled their wedding to return to Boise to assess the damage and help the vendors.
“We have seen in the last two days a huge outpouring of love and support from the community,” said Porreca, noting she has received many emails, calls and posts on social media asking how the community can help.
“Our main concern right now is for our business owners. Several members of the community have stepped up and set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help the business owners with expenses and lost income. We ask that any and all support go to this fund,” she said.
By Monday evening, more than 400 people had donated to the campaign, raising more than $25,000.
Porreca has not yet stated if the market will be rebuilt.
“The Market is really not about the building; it’s about the people. And what the Boise International Market has done is to show that there is a need and a place for this kind of multi-cultural center in our community,” Porreca said.