Community Helps Westbrook Store Owner Rebuild After Fire

A community is helping a family business rebuild in Westbrook after a devastating fire.

Cindy’s Wine and Spirits on Boston Post Road (Route 1) was one of several stores damaged by the blaze on Dec. 15.

“It’s torn the town apart I think,” Kristin Donlan of Westbrook, said.

On Wednesday, Donlan and dozens of volunteers, including students, showed up at Cindy’s Wine and Spirits.

The store was in need of cleanup, including wiping down bottles.

“I don’t have a lot to offer. I’m struggling as everybody else. But if I can do this work, which is to me is the most important at this point, just get this stuff done, get it cleaned up, and move on. That’s what I’m going to do,” Donlan said.

Firefighters said the flames started at the adjoining business, Jet Launderette, on the Boston Post Road.

It caused heavy damage there and also some next door at Cindy’s.

“We didn’t know what to say. I just cried, just cried. It’s a lot of work. I’ve been here for ten years now,” Cindy Cote, owner of Cindy’s Wine and Spirits, said.

The call went out to the help the Cote family. It’s the second recent blow for them; the Cote’s are also dealing with a death in the family.

Now they thank the community which was there in their time of need.

“It’s overwhelming. People are so gracious. They don’t care what you ask of them to do, they just want to do something. It’s really a tribute to how good people are,” Cote said.

Where and when Cindy’s will reopen is up in the air. It’s hopeful as soon as possible but it depends on factors including state approval since alcohol is involved.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the Westbrook fire marshal to see if the cause of the fire has been determined and if the building can repaired, but have yet to hear back.

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