Portage fire damages bridal shop, wedding-day dreams

Fire broke out Sunday
Portage fire damages bridal shop, wedding-day dreams

The fire in a downtown Portage building not only took down a family business on Sunday, but also left many of its customers in a difficult position.

Now, many are now hoping for a timely miracle.

The line of dresses of outside Flirt, the bridal shop on the building’s lower level, might give people the impression the business was able to save quite a few gowns from the fire that destroyed the building. The problem is many of the garments are soaked in water or have the smell of smoke on the material, ruining them.

Heather Ries is slated to walk down the aisle in October. She said she found the dress of her dreams and made the order back in January.  She was supposed to pick up the dress on Tuesday, but she said her heart sank after news of Sunday’s fire.


“I’m kind of in a panic right now because the designer of the dress, it takes four months for a dress to come in, and I’m almost exactly four months away from the wedding.

I’m kind of at a loss of what to do now,” she said.

After holding out for hope earlier on Monday, the shop found heather’s wedding dress soaked and covered in ashes.

The business owners said that with four months to go until the wedding, they will do whatever they can to help Ries still have her dream wedding.

Tara Norland, the building tenant could only watch as flames engulfed her bridal and
photography business on Sunday. Cleanup the following day came with some optimism.

“We can see from looking in the window that there may be a few dresses that are salvageable. So, we’re just hoping that once the firefighters give us the OK to go in, we can go in and salvage anything,” Norland said.

Norland said that they will help brides-to-be like Ries. She said vows to be there for the worst.

“We’re not going to give up. Her wedding is not for a while. We have awesome companies and we will call them. We will find a way to get her a dress.”