by Rob Malcolm


MODESTO (CBS13) —  A popular party supply store is picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed much of its inventory including quinceanera and wedding dresses.

Andy Sanchez promises his store will rise from the ashes. Atiza Party Supply is a staple in the community and has made dreams come true for many families. In spite of the devastating fire, the owner is working to make sure that tradition continues.

“Our dress inventory and everything was back here. The party supplies, pinatas, everything on the retail end. They say the fire started in the back of the building,” Sanchez said.

On Sunday evening just after 6 p.m., 10,000 square feet of dresses, tuxes and pinatas went up in flames, leaving the warehouse a total loss. Sanchez says the timing could not be worse.

“Right now is wedding, quinceanera season for us. The fall is a big wedding quinceanera season,” he said.

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Julie de la Cruz planned to celebrate her quinceanera in December with her cousin and heard about the fire.

“It was stressful. I couldn’t process it because it was like my dress is gone,” de la Cruz said.

De la Cruz found her dress weeks ago, but it was in the warehouse at the time of the fire.

Luz Maria Ramirez, who picked out a dress with her daughter, appreciated the effort made by the store so that her family could celebrate.

“They are making every effort to get the dresses on time. They are very nice about it,” Ramirez said. “Usually, a dress like hers would have taken upwards of four to six months to get into the store.”

The business has been around since 1986. Sanchez is working to make sure the dreams of customers don’t die in the fire. He is filing orders and calling customers from his kitchen table.

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“We already re-ordered probably about 25 dresses this morning. Tomorrow we’ll be reordering some more, we’re trying to make sizes or colors work with some of the customers,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the store will take months to rebuild. He is replacing 3,000 dresses said de la Cruz’s will arrive in a few weeks.

“Hopefully it gets here in time and everything is perfect,” she said.

The fire is still under investigation. Sanchez said he plans to continue doing business from the same location where he’s been for years.

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