OAK LAWN, Ill. (CBS) – — It’s been a year since Eva’s Bridal of Oak Lawn burned to the ground, and on Monday the owner said “thank you” to those who helped it rise from the ashes.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, Eva’s granddaughter and the store’s current owner, Ronia Ghusein, says the hunt for a new location started when a real estate agent approached her in the parking lot on Nov. 18, 2010, the day after the revered store at 4811 W. 95th St. burned down.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports
“Technically, we’ve been looking for a new home since while the store was burning down,” Ghusein said.
Ghusein invited the Oak Lawn Fire Department, Police Department, former brides, and other business owners that pitched in to help after the store’s entire inventory – about 7,000 addresses – was destroyed.
The Nov. 17, 2010, fire was raised to extra-alarms, and left Eva’s bridal a charred pile of debris. Four other nearby businesses were damaged, including a Radio Shack and a Chiro-Med, but the fire at Eva’s left numerous brides in limbo.
Robin Reidel knew her daughter Jessica’s big day — which was just two days away — was in jeopardy.
The bride’s dress was destroyed in the blaze. But Ghusein called the designer personally and sent her down the aisle in a dress exactly like the one she had chosen.
“I felt she stopped everything and worked singly on me,” Jessica Gramont told CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez.
Ghusein wasn’t able to find new dresses for everyone and says it was agonizing. But she’s grateful for her customers’ patience and understanding.
People were quick to step in and help.
“The amount of support, the outpouring of support that we received after the fire still to this day touches my heart, and I just wanted to thank everybody,” Ghusein said.
Ghusein said the store’s insurance policy hadn’t been updated in years, and her family had to dig deep to get the store re-open.
The bigger and better Eva’s is now at 5269 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn, only about half a mile west of the site of the old store.