Mesa's 'Bear Mountain' fundraising to rebuild beloved sporting goods store

A Mesa sporting goods store is getting creative after a fire forced them out of their building.

For the past few months, they've set up shop outside the building while they work to make repairs.

Since 1990, anglers, hunters and archery enthusiasts have come to Bear Mountain to get what they need. But, a few months ago, a fire ripped through the building.

"I get a phone call from one of our other employees who's in Florida. One of his friends sent a picture of fire to him and said, ‘Is Bear Mountain on fire?’" said the owner's son, Stephen Hightower.

He was watching the shop while his father, Edward, was in Alaska on a fishing trip.

"I was worried about everything inside, Stephen said. "We have a lot of inventory and I was worried."

Miraculously, the majority of the inventory was saved, but the building was badly damaged.

"It's like, do I quit now and go get a job working for someone else for two years? Or do I rebuild this and stay longer to pay off the difference?" Edward said.

Because of previous issues, they say they didn't have insurance on the building.

Now, they're opening up in the parking lot of the store.

"Every day people come in and go, ‘We just came by to see the place. We thought it was gone,’ and it's like, 'No, we're not gone.' We're still here taking care of people in the heat," Edward said.

The Hightowers started a GoFundMe in hopes to be able to rebuild the store themselves.

The GoFundMe explains the fire started because "a homeless lady was living out back of the store and started a fire that did major damage to the store."

Related Stories:

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: