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Volunteers help pick up debris after Bishop Castle Fire - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Volunteers help pick up debris after Bishop Castle Fire

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CUSTER COUNTY -

More than a week after an early morning fire damaged a gift shop and an outbuilding at Bishop Castle, the tourist attraction is open again for business but far from completion.

The fire caused an estimated $185,000 in damages. Furthermore, without an admission fee, the Bishop family relied on the gift shop as a prime source of revenue.

"It's just a lot of work. Everybody doing their part of it," he said. "It was a big building."

In moments, Jim Bishop's decades of work vanished. The buildings destroyed in what officials deemed an electrical fire, but the tragedy isn't cutting back hope just yet.

"So, we met Jim about two years ago, and immediately, he was like family to me," said Chantelle Shoaee, founder of Always Choose Adventures.

Thursday, the family received some big help from volunteers. Members of the Always Choose Adventures group shifted around their schedules — some even taking the day off from work — and putting in some hard labor to help the Bishops.

"He allows us to conduct events here, and we knew we needed to help," Shoaee said. "One of my members posted what happened with the fire on our page, and immediately I called to our members and said we need to go help."

And so they did. With masks and gloves on, they hauled away rocks, steel and other debris Thursday, because more hands mean less work — especially for a family in need.

"He's been building this since he was 17, and you know, he's getting up in age, and he's not able to rebuild this completely by himself," Shoaee said. "So, we knew that we had to come help."

It was a gesture appreciated by the original architect himself, as the family rebuild it's major money maker from the ground up.

"They know that this gift shop is a very important thing to us," Bishop said. "It's a major part of our income, and they want to see it rebuilt."

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