SUISUN CITY (CBS13) – Flames shot through the roof of a vacant building in Suisun City. The building was destroyed and part of the comic book store next door collapsed.
A comic book store owner is grateful and feels lucky that his business, and most importantly, his family, is safe.
As fire ate its way through a vacant building on Main Street overnight, the store next door, Waterfront Comics, seemed doomed to the same fate.
Store owner John Harder says when he saw the flames licking his building he thought the worst.
“Everything I’ve worked my whole life for was literally going to be up in smoke in an hour,” he said.
Harder also feared for his father who’s deaf and lives next to the burned out building. Fortunately, Harder and others helped the man escape.
The comic book store isn’t open for business yet, because it’s covered soot — from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between. Harder is grateful he still has doors to open.
“I literally feel like the luckiest man in the world despite everything that’s happened,” he said.
Some patrons say this is more than a store, it’s a place of community that brings people together and its loss would have been devastating.
“This would be like losing a leg or an arm and it would be a very sad day,” said a customer.
“I’m just glad it didn’t hurt his business. I mean…he’s got a lot of stuff in there that’s vintage. It’s really old,” said a customer.
The store has been open for 15 years and the building has been in the Harder family since 1942. Harder said he’s living the dream, doing what he loves and providing for his family. He shudders at the thought his story nearly ended in flames.
“It would have been the end of everything. I would have lost hundreds of thousands worth of inventory. My building would have been destroyed. I would be nothing,” he said.