Nearly two decades ago, Sesey Lam opened Saigon Far East Oriental Market with her husband.
“I live here. I’ve had this place for 18 years and it feels like a home,” she said.
Owning a business came with a lot of sacrifices like missing her kid’s birthday parties, graduations, and family dinners.
“I always tell them that I work hard because for you guys. I want you to go to school and finish your college,” she said.
Like many of her children, Sodara Lam worked in the shop.
“All the customers became like friends or family over time,” he said.
Saturday morning everything changed.
Around 1:00 a.m., their years of hard work went up in flames when a minivan crashed into the building, sparking a fire.
“In just one night it’s all gone,” he said.
At least one person was pulled from the vehicle and the driver was taken to the hospital.
Electrical wires to the building were severed during the crash and a fire broke out.
Firefighters were able to stop the blaze from completely burning down the business, but there is extensive smoke damage on the inside and most products are a total loss. There is at least $200,000 in damages.
And for Sesey, the loss goes deeper.
“The thing that I used to have to own, to touch; now I don’t anymore. It’s not the end of the world. I will try to make myself strong,” she said.