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Furniture store owner ‘couldn’t stop crying’ as his business burned

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The cleanup continues after Tuesday's three-alarm fire on Southwest Boulevard. Kansas City Fire Department and the ATF were on scene Wednesday continuing the investigation.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi said it'll be at least three days until a cause will be released.

While first responders continue to work, Steven Beyer, the owner of Friday's Only furniture store, is working to rebuild his business and significant part of his life.

"I was at the store here, working trying to get the store open for tomorrow, and a phone rang and it was one of our customers saying 'do you know your building is on fire?' We ran down there and the rest was the worst day of my life," Beyer said.

Beyer could not hold back his emotions after a fire engulfed his warehouse.

"I'm a pretty strong guy -- strong-willed -- and I couldn't stop crying. I was blubbering like a little baby," he recalled.

Beyer said trouble began on Saturday after storms tore off the roof, damaging sprinkler lines that flooded the building.

"We knew we lost probably 90 percent of our inventory from our flooding and yesterday morning, the owner of the building sent out a huge repair team to start working on the roof and the electrical to try to get things back up and running so we could clear out the building and start over."

But Tuesday's fire has delayed those plans.

"It felt like a death in the family. It was very difficult to watch," Beyer added,.

Beyer, who's owned the business for more than three decades, said the support he's received from his customers and business associates have brought him hope and peace.

"My factories are coming to the rescue, one called today that he'd get it to me free. One guy said he'd pay for the freight. They've just been wonderful," he said. "It's good to know people support you. You do business for years, back and forth, and it's just really nice when somebody comes and helps."

Beyer also owns Home Rooms Furniture, in Kansas City, Kan., he said that location will reopen on Thursday morning.