CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- After a fire forces a popular restaurant in Chippewa Falls to close its doors, the community is stepping up to help the employees impacted.
With no sign of when or if "The View" will rebuild after Tuesday’s fire, the financial security of the restaurant’s employees is taking a hit. That's why neighboring restaurant workers are hoping to help ease the burden.
"We were all so shocked and we all felt so bad,” said Nikisha Loucks, Server at Chippewa Family Restaurant in Chippewa Falls.
She and other employees at Chippewa Family Restaurant immediately thought of the workers at The View who no longer have a place to work. "It’s tough on everybody…it's not just tough on the owner, it’s tough on the employees,” said Loucks.
She says jobs in the food service industry rarely come with fancy benefits so workers rely heavily on their tips. "We strictly work day by day...that is your paycheck , day by day so when you lose that ...you lose all of your income…you lose everything," she said.
To help ease the loss for employees of The View, Chippewa Family Restaurant has started a donation fund. "Us servers decided, along with the owner here to help…to do what we could,” said Loucks.
She says workers at Chippewa Family Restaurant often help one another when needed so they wanted to extend that same courtesy to employees of The View. Nikisha says she knew the community would come together to support the cause as they once did for her. "My husband died two years ago and the community really pulled together…a lot of donations came in from the community for me and my children," she said.
Less than 24 hours since crews finished battling the flames at The View, Chippewa Family Restaurant has already raised more than $1,500 for the employees impacted.
Officials say the cause of the remains under investigation. “It’s been a mainstay in this area for a long time…I know a lot of people come in via boat in the summer time to participate in activities here and through the efforts of the insurance company, I hope to see this building rebuilt and open again for the people that live and travel to this area,” said Chief Scott Bernette of the Chippewa Fire District.
Chippewa Family Restaurant says workers at Altoona Family Restaurant donated $500 Wednesday afternoon. Other area businesses are also stepping in to help. Loopy's in Chippewa Falls is offering free daily meals to employees of The View for the next several weeks.