Patterson Phoenix -- Bayou Rentals rises from ashes of fire a year ago

PATTERSON, La. -- Bayou Rentals in Patterson will hold its grand re-opening Saturday, nearly one year after its building was destroyed by a fire.

The business actually never stopped operating after the fire but had to operate out of alternative buildings.

Owners Robert and Cindy Reasoner ran the business out of two 8-foot wide and 40-foot long shipping containers and three 20-foot long shipping containers until June when they were able to move into the new building, Robert Reasoner said.

“We operated out of the buildings for four months, and the fifth month we got to start using our new building. It took six months to get the building to where you could actually do something with it,” he said.

The building was destroyed by fire that then caused an explosion on March 10, 2012. No one was injured in the fire.

Reasoner said they were busy getting the building back up to where they could work out of it, and have all their parts in and products to sell so they decided to wait until this weekend to have their grand re-opening to show they are “back up and running.”

The City of Patterson was a big help in getting the business back to where it was, Reasoner said.

“They made sure we had no permit problems. They made sure we had no paperwork problems; didn’t have no stalling or anything like that,” he said.

City manager David Lowery “bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed to get started,” he said. Mayor Rodney Grogan made sure they did not have any “roadblocks at all and had his people helping us,” Reasoner added.

The community helped in the cleanup and rebuilding process after the fire, he said.

“The fire department showed up, helped us pick up all that mess,” Reasoner said. “Small town U.S.A. is still alive. I’ve never seen so many people come out and help.”

People in the community brought them food while they were working to rebuild the building, he said. “I have never felt people wanting us back in business so bad as people in this area did,” Reasoner said.

The store’s grand re-opening will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Troy Landry of the hit History Channel show “Swamp People” will be at the re-opening and will be signing autographs. Landry represents Scag lawnmowers, a brand Bayou Rentals sells. Reasoner first sold Landry a Scag lawnmower in 2002 before he rose to reality show fame, Reasoner said.

Reasoner said Bayou Rentals will have special pricing on its products for the re-opening.

It will be held in conjunction with Game Day Pizza’s grand opening, which is across the street from Bayou Rentals, said Game Day Pizza general manager Keith Tayloe.

“They’re (Game Day Pizza) supposed to serve us alligator pizza,” Reasoner said.

“Robert got a hold of us and told us what he was doing and wanted to know if we wanted to do something in conjunction,” Tayloe said. “We met with him, and that’s what we decided on, we would all do it together.”

Game Day Pizza will have a “fun jump” for kids and will also be giving away door prizes, Tayloe said.

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