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Building a total loss

Fire engulfs construction site

By Angie Landsverk

Bonnie Timm is waiting to learn the cause of a Feb. 3 fire that destroyed a building under construction at her business.

“I was three weeks from moving in,” said Timm, who owns Bonnie’s Bloomers at 200 Foxfire Drive.

Around 5 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, she received a telephone call from the Waupaca Fire Department.

“They told me it was a complete loss,” Timm said.

The department responded to the fire around 3 a.m. and found the building fully engulfed.

After the call from the fire department, Timm contacted Jeff Guetzke, of Guetzke Remodeling & Contracting, in Waupaca.

He is the builder and general contractor for her project and soon met her on the property.

They watched the sun come up as they assessed the damage.

Timm’s former husband, Dennis Timm, also provided support – both on Friday, Feb. 3 and again on Monday, Feb. 6 when he was to help her fix part of the greenhouse’s roof.

The roof of the greenhouse and the pergola were both damaged in the fire, and Timm wanted the greenhouse protected before the forecasted mixture of rain, sleet and snow arrived.

“We’re going to rebuild,” she said. “It’s a question of how to proceed.”

The cause of the fire needs to be determined.

“We’re waiting on the investigation,” Timm said. “There is no suspect of arson or foul play.”

Multiple insurance companies are involved – her insurance carrier, as well as the companies representing the builder and mason.

“We have to wait until everyone has a chance to look at the site,” she said.

Timm said they know everything above the concrete is a loss.

Since they cannot yet clear the site, they do not know whether the concrete is a loss.

“We’re either going to tear up and remove the concrete or pour over it,” she said. “We are going over scenarios for once we get the clean up done.”

There are heaters in the greenhouse, and on the morning of Monday, Feb. 6, Timm said the natural gas was still shut off, so those heaters could not be turned on yet.

The natural gas for her property was turned off on Friday after the fire department saw the natural gas line on the northeast corner bubbling up through the ground.

Timm said her insurance company is being “awesome” and also understands the time sensitivity related to her business.

She opened Bonnie’s Bloomers last May 6.

Timm started the business with the greenhouse and broke ground last November on the 1,944-square-foot building.

She is working with Hometown Bank and CAP Services on her project.

When representatives from both of them met her on the site on Feb. 1, Timm told them she was shooting for an April 1 opening.

The building will be her florist and gift shop, allowing her to provide flowers for weddings, funerals and other events.

Her location next door to Waupaca Ale House makes the addition of a floral shop convenient, Timm said.

She will continue to have annuals, perennials, herbs, trees and shrubs and said the florist and gift shop will include home decor items and outdoor garden art.

The greenhouse will be open seasonally, while the florist and gift shop will be open year around.

“It’s a little bit to putting it back together at this point,” Timm said.

She appreciates the support she is receiving.

“The community’s been wonderful,” Timm said. “I did put something on the business Facebook page.”

She feels blessed to live here and said there will be good days and bad days but “between who I am and what I’ve gone through in my life,” Timm says she knows she will get through this and be stronger.

Saturday, Feb. 4 was her birthday, and she said she will never forget this one.

“My builder is funny,” Timm said. “He said, ‘Is there anything you want to change? Now is the time to do it.’”

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