Westfield Mall Fire

Cheryl Koch
IBA West Education Managing Director

Many of you may have heard on the news several weeks ago about the fire at the Westfield Mall in Roseville.  A disgruntled former employee walked into GameStop, told the employees he had a bomb, and proceeded to start a fire that is estimated to have caused over $6.5 million dollars in damages.   Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.

One of our member agencies had a birds-eye view from their office as the flames shot up and the customers and employees were evacuated.  Being the insurance nerd I am, my mind immediately turned to insurance.  I hoped that all of those businesses had a conscientious, professional, and highly educated agent working for them, but sadly I’m sure some did not.  Most of the stores did not suffer direct damage, but all were closed for a period of time.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of employees were let go, in a local and state economy with unemployment in excess of 10%.  And of course, the stores were gearing up for their busiest season—worst possible loss, worst possible time.

If you think for a moment that what we do in this business is not that important, just stop to consider how your ability to do your job at the highest level could mean the difference between a business that is able to recover and one that suffers financial ruin; employees who can remain on the payroll during the recovery process, and those who will have to get in line to find another job; a local economy that is on the verge of recovery or one that is plunged into further recession.  Be proud of your chosen profession and remain at all times at the top of your game by continuing to pursue education and learning opportunities that will benefit your clients, your community and your industry.