EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Monday Dec. 12, a fire broke out in a business located in Downtown El Paso. Since then, the city has declared the building is vulnerable, endangering the public and surrounding properties.

This has also caused issues with surrounding businesses who lost significant customers due to El Paso St. being closed off from Overland to Paisano for the past three weeks.

One business employee, Rosa Perez says the difficult access to the area has left customers unsure if they are even opened.

“The holiday season is usually a very busy season and I know people can walk but a lot of people don’t want to stop, they want to stay here, they want to park here.” said Rosa Perez, Premier Uniforms employee.

Business owner Hector Ayala feels that even when the demolition is complete, other businesses are at risk of not being able to remain open.

“Some are closing already but I would imagine some of the businesses around here don’t get any customers, so it has put us all in jeopardy.” said Hector Ayala, owner of Premier Uniforms

The city of El Paso did release a statement about their demolition process which reads in part quote:

“The area and roadways near the building have been closed and secured to minimize the public’s exposure to the area, until the portions of the building that pose an imminent threat can be secured, mitigating the potential danger to the public and surrounding properties.” – Laura Cruz Acosta/ Strategic Communications Director City of El Paso

With no official timeline of when the demolition will be completed, for now Ayala and other business owners are working together to inform shoppers that they are still open.

“We all pitched in and made those big signs at the end of the road that says stores are open on Saturdays. One of the merchants, they have a big PA system to try to get the people from the other side of the street to come over.” said Hector Ayala, owner of Premier Uniforms

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