July 17, 2012 // Franchising.com // It has already been over two weeks since the Waldo Canyon Fire burned through Colorado. The wildfire is contained and the majority of evacuees have returned to their homes. Except, not everyone has a home to return to.
Just ask Bruce and Lori Morgan.
Bruce and his wife, Lori were on vacation when the fire started in the mountains above their Colorado Springs home. Bruce immediately booked a flight to return home. When he arrived, he had just over one hour to pack up some of his family’s personal belongings as the mandatory evacuation notice went out. “I had to quickly go through parts of my family’s life and decide if it was okay that particular items would no longer be part of us,” stated Bruce. “I keep thinking back to things I should have grabbed, but there wasn’t enough time.”
He was right. There wasn’t enough time. “People were yelling from the center of our cul-de-sac that a wall of fire was rolling down the hill toward us . . . that we had to get out NOW,” remembered Bruce. "The wind was howling and the air was full of heat and burning ash. I moved as fast as I could without looking back,” he said. “I drove out as the ash made it as dark as night.”
That was it. Within a short time, the fire had swept through the neighborhood and destroyed the Morgan’s home along with 346 others in the Mountains Shadows subdivision. “Seeing the destruction was worse than in any movie - and it wasn’t a movie, it was our neighborhood,” said Bruce.
The Morgan’s home wasn’t the only thing that was affected by the fire. Their home-based remodeling franchise, Kitchen Tune-Up of Colorado Springs, also took a hit. “The amount of calls and emails from friends, family and other franchise owners from across the country offering their support has been incredible,” said Bruce. The Kitchen Tune-Up franchise system has set up the Morgan Family Fund with Great Western Bank where anyone can donate money to help the Morgan family as they start to rebuild their home and business operation. David Haglund, Kitchen Tune-Up founder and president will personally match up to $5,000 of the funds donated. “Kitchen Tune-Up isn’t just a franchise system,” stated Haglund. “We are a family and families take care of each other. We will do whatever we can to help get the Morgan’s back on their feet.”
Despite the fire being contained, the work has just begun for the residents of Colorado Springs. “We may have lost our home, but our family is safe. The most important thing is not our things, but our family,” said Lori Morgan. “We are getting up on our feet again and are grateful for many great friends and a great community.”
“Many prospects ask what qualities make great franchise owners,” said Jeff Dorn, Kitchen Tune-Up’s Senior VP of Operations. “Resilience is one quality above all that we see with successful franchisees. The Morgan’s have been Kitchen Tune-Up owners since 1994 and are certainly an example of dedication, resilience and success and they will continue to thrive.”
Kitchen Tune-Up specializes in affordable kitchen and bath remodeling. They offer wood reconditioning “Tune-Ups”, cabinet refacing and redooring, closet organization, and custom cabinetry. Kitchen Tune-Up has been franchising since 1988 and territories are available nationwide and in Canada. Learn more at kitchentuneup.com or ktufranchise.com.