COLORADO SPRINGS — In July of 2021, officials said an arsonist set fire to several businesses in Old Colorado City. They supposedly targeted a strip mall, setting fire to a UPS store which spread to other businesses in the vicinity, and House of Flags, a business that had been standing in the community since 1995.

Many businesses still under construction 6 months after the fire. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The owner of the business, John Seebeck, said the structure of the building was mostly in tact, but the worst thing was the smoke.

“They didn’t realize at the time that flags don’t burn. They melt and give off this obnoxious gray-black smoke,” Seebeck said.

Most of the damage to the building came from the smoke. Credit: Rachel Saurer

Seebeck said someone had piled the flags in heaps and set fire to them, creating a huge loss in inventory for the business.

“All the property inside the building was completely, either damaged by fire, smoke and water and is just unusable. So basically all destroyed,” he said.

The building had to be cleared of smoke, and once that was done, all that was left was getting inventory, which Seebeck said, was not a small feat.

Getting merchandise back on the shelves was the biggest roadblock for House of Flags. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“With the supply chain problems and difficulties with transportation and other things, I could not seem to get an awful lot of the material that I wanted to put on the shelves. Can’t find people to actually sew the flags,” he said.

Despite the struggles with the inventory as well as finding people to work, House of Flags said they plan on reopening Jan. 4.

“Hopefully that’ll become it’s reality and we can then proceed onward supplying our customers what they what they want, what they need as far as flags and flagpoles are concerned,” Seebeck said.

Though many businesses may still be closed, House of Flags is looking forward to a tentative reopening date. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The arson is still an ongoing investigation and officials are asking that if you have any information that could help, you can call 719-444-7000.