EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Since a fire off El Paso Street last December, the city has blocked off a significant part of the street for demolition of the building. And several business owner says that is demolishing their efforts to make a living.

On Dec. 12, a fire broke out on 300 block of El Paso Street at a shoe store.

In a permit KTSM has obtained, it said that the building is being demolished and during the process the entire block of El Paso Street from Overland to Paisano has been fenced off.

Luz Seo, owner of Uno Plus store, located right next to the burnt shoe store, said they have been struggling to pay rent, utilities and are even having trouble with their trash being picked up.

She said the reason for all that is the fence.

Customers get confused and think that they cannot access the stores on the street because of the way the fence has been set up and they cannot park there either.

Seo said this is why their profits have gone down significantly and they had to let go of some staff.

“How is it possible that we were well established all the way through the pandemic and they do this to us, they close down the street,” Seo said.

Her store is now facing a shutdown.

She said she even contacted the city for financial assistance but was told in an email to apply for a loan that she cannot pay for.

Their neighboring store has already put up a sign announcing a sale before they close down for good.

Genesis Parfumeria manager Maricela Ramirez said they are afraid of shutting down too after 37 years of business, if the street continues to be fenced off.

City of El Paso said they are expecting the demolishing process to be done in the next two to three weeks, “barring any unforeseen circumstance.”

In a statement, the city explained that there is limited access to the site and “all the material must be treated as containing asbestos and must be disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations.”

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store