Brian C. Worton
What every affected soul of this tragedy must be feeling at this moment is incomprehensible. Grief is so often felt in life, but to witness the loss of dreams being embodied by flames and ash on that Friday night was devastating. As has always been the case in this town, the grief and mourning of this tumultuous event has coincided with an inspiring display of unity, love and hospitality. Citizens, businesses, former officials, current officials and entire families extended their hands to help without a moment of hesitation not only in the days that followed, but as well, the night that our town was towered by a pillar of black smoke. While painful, I thank God that we have all been handed a reminder that throughout all of its changes, growth, new places and new faces, Covington will always be Covington.
I was sitting on an airplane when I started getting text messages regarding the fire. While looking at the photos I began to tear up and the lady sitting next to me asked if I was ok. I replied no. I shared with her what I just received and she said “let’s pray”. At that moment we held hands and prayed. To this day I am still praying for the businesses and friends affected by the devastating fire. My heart goes out to them.
Lee Ann Avery
I generally go to bed early, so I didn’t hear about the fire until Saturday morning. Of course I had to head over there to see for myself what exactly had happened. Firefighters were still on the scene and it was devastating. The look of shock on others’ faces was daunting. My heart goes out to all those businesses. Many of them, I knew personally. I wish I had stopped by more frequently to chat. I pray they are well and I hope they all will be able to return. I think we take for granted just how wonderful the square is. It’s the hub of our small town. It is a grim reminder that we are not promised tomorrow, so love and appreciate the things around you today.
When I received the news about the fire on the square my heart immediately went out to all of the businesses and staff members who were affected by this sudden loss. I’ve lived in Covington all of my life and have had the pleasure of eating or shopping at these locations at one time or another. But I’ve known Covington to be a place of resilience and willing to support their own in times like this. With time and the help of the community I have no doubt that these businesses will re-open and come back stronger than before.
Emily Rose Hamby
To those affected by the fire, smoke and water damage, my thoughts have been with you all since last Friday. I cannot fathom what you are going through at this time. Local businesses are the foundation of Covington and the heart of the Square. Though navigating the path of rebuilding and reopening may take time and the future remains unclear, know that you have an entire community on the sidelines cheering you on. One thing is for certain — this town rallies and supports its own — and as a Covington native, I can attest to that.
Phillip B. Hubbard
My thoughts since last Friday have mainly been prayers. Prayers, first, for the firefighters responding to Aug. 25’s fire. Then prayers for the affected businesses, business owners and employees. When I think back to what I witnessed that night, it feels like a bad dream. I can’t even fathom how the people directly affected by this tragedy must feel. But I’m also encouraged by the amount of support shown by numerous people to the affected businesses in their recovery. It really displays that Covington-Newton County is still a close, tight-knit community.
These are the opinions of The Covington News’ staff members. We can be reached at covnews.com