ROGERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Even though a fire destroyed one of the buildings at Rogers Flea Market last week, it was business as usual today, with patrons and vendors proving that nothing can bring down their spirits.
Dennis McCartney had a line for every piece of produce. He was glad to be open in Rogers like he has been for 21 years.
“The holiday weekend is where we’re able to make extra money to put away for when we struggle. Not being here would’ve hurt us pretty good,” McCartney said.
The G Pavilion burned to the ground last Friday night, leaving 50 vendors worried that they would have no spot or be moved. McCartney also sells at the Four Seasons and remembers the 2008 fire.
The main difference in Rogers today was finding a way to keep the produce dry in the rain, but McCartney was smiling and sharing the same jokes.
“I’m sure being displaced will lower our numbers, but we carry good product. I’m sure people will find us,” he said. “I think we’ll be okay.”
Jeff Farmer sells items across from McCartney. Today he felt like he was playing catch up.
“We are still able to use the concrete here, we just have to work a little harder and provide our own roof versus their roof,” Farmer said.
Still, McCartney said the people at Rogers Flea Market took care of vendors every step of the way.
“We really respect them for that because this is what we do for a living…and being a holiday weekend, being displaced would’ve been a nightmare for us.”
Rogers has over 1,600 spaces for sellers. The 50 spaces in the pavilion were filled like normal today and the crowd was still filing through.
Debris from the fire was taken away Tuesday in six dumpsters. Once the concrete was hosed off, it was still good to use. Organizers laid down 300 tons of new gravel around the edges.
The temporary space will have to do until a new pavilion is built.
“It’ll be a similar pavilion. It’ll be open air like it was before. It may be a different type of construction, possibly steel, or it may be wood again. It’s hard to tell,” said owner Bill Baer.
It will probably take at least 90 days to get the permits and designs before beginning construction.
Until then, the spirit continues for the market’s usual Friday shopping experience.
“Well, it’s life,” said Jackie Childs, a customer from Pennsylvania. “Everybody had a good intention to come out and everybody is out here shopping like there was no fire. We’re all having a good time out here.”