BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Wayne “Chico” Arnold has been selling sports memorabilia at the Tri-Cities Flea Market for 37 years.
The longtime vendor lost almost everything after an early-morning fire on Saturday destroyed the building holding his stock of vintage baseball cards and NASCAR items.
“I said, ‘Well, that’s the end of an era for me,'” Arnold said. “It’s about time to quit when everything goes up.”
Arnold estimated that he lost at least a $200,000 worth of products to the flames. Even despite his loss, Arnold sympathizes with the vendors who lost their means of income.
“It’s going to hurt — really hurt — because a lot of people really depended on this,” Arnold said. “I wasn’t depending on it; it was just sort of a hobby for me. But some people…it was their work every week. They depended on it to buy groceries.”
A GoFundMe was created to help assist families who lost businesses in the fire.
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