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Kenosha's Uptown area bears brunt of civil unrest

Posted at 7:12 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 20:12:38-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — Kenosha's Uptown neighborhood is reeling after another night of unrest.

22nd Avenue was lined with businesses, now so many of them are left in pieces and ashes.

By 11 a.m. firefighters were still dousing a building with water.

"This is crazy my job is gone. My job is gone," said Marcus Starks who lives and works in the area.

Marcus shared a cellphone video of the Uptown Pantry where he works. The store, which he says neighbors rely on, was left in shambles

"This is what they wanna do they want to take away from what they stand for what they want to protest for this is what they do? These people didn’t deserve to lose their businesses," said Marcus.

"At first you feel anger and sadness," said Abel Alejo, who owns La Estrella Supermarket on 22nd Avenue.

The market along with many other businesses went up in flames.

"It’s hard to describe because it’s not the loss of material property. When you have a business like this it’s a part of you. It’s part of your life and when you lose it, part of your life goes with it," said Abel.

A fire also engulfed the longstanding and historic Danish Brotherhood Lodge.

"There was so much history in that building. there's so much gone. I don't know if we'll ever be able to replace it. We have to see what the safe's still got," said Duane Kreier, a former president at the establishment.

Pat Oertle, one of the owners of Computer Adventures, said she got a call from a friend who said they were watching Uptown burn on YouTube. Pat questioned why more wasn't done to stop people.

"We're here six days a week for 29 years and this is our livelihood right here and it's gone," said Pat.

As firefighters continue to put out flames people came together to clear debris and board up windows, creating a sense of community even on some of the darkest days.

Abel and many others here understand the outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake but believe there has to be another way to make a change.

As the day went on, people worried about what Tuesday night would bring.

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