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Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015

Yard sale helps displaced employees


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BROOKSVILLE - Cars lined Spring Lake Highway on Saturday as hundreds of people came to a yard sale to support displaced employees of Papa Joe's restaurant.

On Jan. 24, an early-morning fire destroyed the business, which had been a Brooksville staple for 32 years.

With the scent of the charred building lingering, employees set up tables next to a chain-link fence erected after the fire.

The goods, which included clothing, appliances, electronics and artwork, were collected last week for the sale, which started at 7 a.m. Saturday.

"It's amazing, all our customers are here," said Lindsey Carollo, who worked as a server at Papa Joe's for 19 years before the fire.

Many of the 45 people employed by Papa Joe's helped with the yard sale, and many wore "I love Papa Joe's" T-shirts.

Carollo said the proceeds will go to a relief fund for the employees.

Hernando County Fire Rescue previously told Hernando Today the fire started after a electrical malfunction in the ceiling above the main dining room.

"I think it's a beautiful turnout and outpouring from the community," owner Joe Giarratana said of Saturday's yard sale.

Giarratana said his main focus since the fire has been taking care of his displaced employees.

"Keep praying for us ... we really appreciate the outpouring of love and support," Giarratana said.

Hernando Commissioner Nick Nicholson said Saturday the county's building and zoning departments, as well as code enforcement, will work closely with Giarratana as he rebuilds.

"The county will be there to help any way we can," Nicholson said.

(352) 544-5283

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