Metro company that serves first-responders reopens after fire destroyed old building

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro company that serves local first-responders is back in business after a three-alarm fire destroyed its previous building in North Kansas City.

It's been six months since that fire. On Thursday, Galls held a grand opening at its new location in NKC, not far away from its original.

“I was very disheartened because that's who supplies all our uniforms, for not only us, but for all the police, fire, the bus company in town -- everybody. So it`s a very personal loss for a lot of us,” said Joe Reynolds, the battalion chief for the North Kansas City Fire Department.

Metro first-responders, public safety professionals and partners in the market were invited to Galls' grand opening.

“May the 7th, we had a devastating fire that ruined our entire location in North Kansas City,” said Terry Jones, Galls' district sales manager.

Galls was one of 13 businesses located in the building when flames destroyed it.

“It was a devastating fire. Fortunately no one was hurt,” Jones said.

Galls is the largest distributor to public safety uniforms in the country with more than 80 retail stores.

“As our strong commitment to all public safety professionals here in the North Kansas City market, it hurt us. We were worried about employees. We were worried about how we were going to service our local public safety professionals,” Jones said.

“We are on a first-name basis with a lot of the people who work there, so it was a lot for us,” Reynolds added.

Crews demolished what remained of the damaged building Galls previously called home.

On Thursday, some of the other people who worked in the building gathered at Galls' new location to celebrate a new beginning.

“Very reassuring we were able to keep such a good business in town,” Reynolds said.

“It touches your heart because we care about the people we serve,” Jones said. “They are family, and it was important for us to make sure they were able to have the product that they need to help protect and serve the community at large."

Investigators believe a careless cigarette smoker and a windy day were likely what caused the fire.

Although the building was a complete loss, Galls said there was a silver lining: “It allowed us to build and come back bigger, better and stronger,” Jones said.