A Molalla man died in a fire that devastated several buildings in downtown Molalla last week. The fire started in Tommy’s Country Boutique, which is located below the apartment in which the man, 54-year-old Guy Tolstead, lived with his mother.
The woman made it out, but he did not. His body was found by emergency workers Friday afternoon.
The fire spread from the boutique to Bentley Feed Store next door, destroying both buildings. Thai Yo Sushi was also damaged.
Bentley Feed is a third generation family owned business that has been a Molalla staple since 1956. The owners, Brian and Ashley Bentley, said the building was a “total and complete loss,” which was later confirmed by insurance.
Although they had fire insurance, it will not cover everything. Even feed that may appear sealed and undamaged is not safe for consumption due to smoke damage.
However, a GoFundMe page for the store raised over $10,000 in less than three days. And Molalla residents Troy and Leann Vest purchased the former location of Molalla Fertilizer at 480 Hart Ave. for the Bentleys to get their business back up on its feet while the fire claim is being processed.
“All of our money is tied up in the feed store, so it’s either we go bankrupt or we try,” Ashley Bentley said in an emotional Facebook Live video on Saturday. “We’re going to try.”
Bentley’s Feed will reopen on Monday, probably around noon. They will have a limited supply of products but do expect to have hay and dog food in stock.
For the latest information, visit the company’s Facebook page.