FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – Mexican restaurant Paradiso in Fargo is now open again after a fire ripped through it last month, causing approximately $150,000 in damage.
Now the restaurant is expressing its gratitude to the first responders who helped save it.
“I felt like my house was on fire. I had been there for 41 years,” said Becky Côté, director and longtime employee of Paradiso.
Côté says it was hard to see the business ignite.
“It was pretty surreal, that’s the word,” she said.
As the fire unfolded, a list of concerns began to race through her mind.
“I thought if the restaurant is badly damaged. What if it burns down? Are we going to rebuild? What is everyone going to do for the jobs,” she asked.
It’s no longer a problem thanks to the Fargo fire department.
To show their appreciation, Côté and the Paradiso restaurant family treated approximately 30 of these first responders to a special meal.
“It’s a nice surprise. You don’t expect anything when you go on these tracks. It’s a nice surprise to have someone bring something to us,” said Capt. Matt Brand of the Fargo Fire Department.
Brand was one of many firefighters who responded to the call.
He says that even though they were just doing their job, there is a sense of pride knowing that another business has been saved.
“Anytime we can make a difference, that’s our job,” he said. “Our job is to make a difference in the community. Whenever we can save businesses or homes, it goes a long way. »
Côté says everyone at Paradiso will be forever grateful.
She hopes their efforts to give back will inspire others to show their appreciation for first responders.
“I don’t know if people realize they saved our restaurant,” she said. “I think we should be thanking our police and firefighters every day.”
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