Clark County

Owners, 'hoping for a miracle,' seek help after fire

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) -- Betty Bowman can hardly look at the scene. It's been four days since the Malt Shop and the Chicken House, a Bowman-owned mainstay at the Clark County Fairgrounds for 45 years, caught fire and turned to ash. 

She said she shook the first time she saw it -- she couldn't believe it. Then, the next day, the reality took effect. Everything had already melted. The only thing that was still intact was the shop's sign. 

"There is nothing of even toothpick sign they could save," Betty said. "Everything was such a hot fire."

Despite its current state, Betty still has memories of what the shop looked like before the flames destroyed it. She can remember the golf cart that used to be parked inside -- now you can barely make out what looks like a tire's rim in the ashed mess. She can remember all the shop's details, as much as it pains her to do so.

"I lay awake at night," she said, thinking of the shop before the fire, "and I don't sleep until 5 a.m."

Betty said the shop is her and her husband's only source of income. Now that it's destroyed, Betty is left hoping for a miracle. A Go Fund Me, seeking $100,000 to bring the malt shop back, has been created. It's raised over $4,000 so far.

This year, Betty said the Clark County Fairgrounds is celebrating its 150th anniversary. And after being a part of the fairgrounds for 45 years, Betty is hoping they can raise enough money to be a part of it once again this year. 

"To replace it all is going to be absolutely huge," she said. "We're hoping for a miracle." 

You can donate to the Bowman's Go Fund Me by clicking this link 


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