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Warehouse damage, worker’s death take toll on business owner

David Gordon is feeling the toll of this week’s snowstorm more acutely than most.

Part of the roof a 100,000 square foot Cheektowaga warehouse that supports his online business, ChristmasCentral.com, collapsed, and the structure was condemned. Far more distressing was that one of his employees was found dead in his car under a mountain of snow on Innsbruck Drive, perhaps 100 yards from the warehouse’s front door.

Another of his businesses, the Creekside Banquet facility, was also suffering damaged, with the weight of the snow on the roof causing the property’s French glass doors to shatter.

Amid his business woes, Gordon was grieving the loss of an employee. “My understanding is he was leaving [the warehouse], he must have turned around and couldn’t get out,” he said. “It’s terribly unfortunate. A lot of my employees are terribly distraught. He was a good employee, well-liked by everybody, including myself and my family.”

The storm damaged the warehouse and disrupted his business at what his busiest time of year. “We are 30,000 orders behind that we cannot ship,” he said.

Gordon, also known for his Dave’s Christmas Wonderland store, branched out into a thriving Internet-based business in the late 1990s to sell Christmas decorations and products.

“The stuff that’s in that warehouse is not replaceable,” he said. “Christmas merchandise you buy once a year, a year advance, so I can’t replace any of it. It’s exposed to the elements now.” Gordon said he has other warehouses in the area that also support his business.

While Gordon has insurance, he says that is “to a point. I only have so much insurance.” He expects to talk to an adjuster over the weekend as he seeks to recoup losses from business disruption.

Amid everything, Gordon said he was most worried about his workers, and ensuring they could get back to their jobs.

email: mglynn@buffnews.com