FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — Several business owners in downtown Frederick are working to rebuild after a devastating fire. Eight people also lost their homes when flames tore through the connected apartment building last month.

Maria Peck, the owner of Tiara Day Boutique says she couldn’t believe it when she got the call about a fire destroying her business.

“I never expected to get a call that the building was on fire. Customers texted me before I’d gotten here that they were breaking down my door. By the time we got here, I knew it was a lot worse than I thought.,” said Peck.

It took Maria 16 years to get her business up and running, and in one instance, everything was gone.

“I worked two jobs to get the store started, so this is a labor of love. It’s my passion.”

Customer Susan Cunliffe says she loved shopping at the boutique and was heartbroken to learn of the fire.

“I buy all my clothes and my jewelry at Alicia L Boutique and Tiara Day Boutique. This is a huge loss. We love these people like family, and this is just a gut punch to those of us who love downtown, Frederick.”

Even friends have started pitching in to help by donating money and getting their hands dirty.

“When this happened, I just came down right away and we’ve been just sorting through everything that’s been destroyed inside. It’s like a warzone,” said Djohariah Singer.

The record exchange next door has since found a new building and started a GoFundMe page for additional support.