EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Just hours after a massive fire that ripped through a shoe store in Downtown El Paso, neighboring businesses opened their doors to a less-than-enthusiastic crowd.

For the tenants of the surrounding buildings, including the owner of Premier Uniforms, Hector Ayala, they have not experienced an incident like the fire.

“Everyone’s a little bit nervous because what could’ve happened. It could have moved all the way down because all the buildings are attached to each other. So yeah everyone’s a little bit nervous but relieved at the same time,” Ayala said.

While Premier Uniforms was able to open up, they have not seen the same amount of crowds like before.

“It has affected business. It killed business yesterday, but it has affected business today. A lot of people still think we’re closed, so hopefully, you know, hopefully as time goes on it’ll pick up again,” Ayala said.

While the cause of the fire is not yet known, Ayala is making sure loose flammable objects are not in the vicinity of the Dumpster behind his store so that his business does not suffer the same fate.

“We’re going to make sure there’s no cardboard out there, nothing that can start a fire or have some of the people, I guess transients or whatever, that need warmth because it’s so cold outside, figure they’re going to make a little bonfire and because it’s so flammable. The building is going to go up in minutes.”

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