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Helping ‘friends’ in a time of need

It is disappointing to hear about the possibility of arson in the fire that burned Friend’s Diner in Maplesville early Sunday morning.

According to officials, the store’s cash register was missing, which may explain a deliberate attempt to disguise a burglary with a fire.

“Friend’s” was more than just a name of this restaurant; it is also descriptive of what the atmosphere was like in this small town fixture. Everybody knew everybody else, and you could walk in and expect to be treated like family.

Although the news is bad, the community’s response showed what the people of Maplesville are made of. People wasted no time driving to the scene to volunteer their time. It was the same as if they were helping a close relative or neighbor whose house had burned.

“It’s not an option as to whether or not I’m going to rebuild,” said owner Connie Smith. “My customers need it as much as I do.”

It’s truly great to see people band together in a time of need. Of course we are thankful for the volunteer firefighters and law enforcement officers who were there doing their jobs, but it is especially heartwarming to see people going above and beyond to help their neighbor recover from this loss.

If the fire is deemed an arson, we hope for the swift arrest of those who committed the crimes. We also look forward to seeing this local business up and thriving once again as it serves the community.

It’s good to know that the latter will not be a problem, as evidenced by the outpouring of concern.