WINONA, MN (WKBT) -

While many are preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, some business owners in Winona are watching their buildings being torn down.

Crews have started demolishing what's left of the downtown buildings that went up in flames in September.

City officials say it could take up to four weeks for everything to be cleaned up.

The fire started early in the morning two months ago in the Islamic Center, destroying the building.

It also destroyed Brosnahan's Law Firm and damaged the businesses on either side of the center.

The center's religious affairs director, Hamid Quraishi, says various churches and hotels have been opening their doors for center members to pray on Fridays.

He says they're trying to decide whether to construct a new building or buy an existing one.

"We have been involved with fundraising and we are determined we are going to have a center in Winona, but as we all know, it's going to take a little time to make it happen," said Quraishi.

Quraishi says he's impressed with the community's willingness to reach out to his group and help it during the transition.

The businesses on either side of the Islamic Center also took a big hit, especially since the holiday season is here.

Amy Jo Marks is thankful to still have one Blooming Grounds Coffee House left.

"It's nice because some of the business shifted over here," said Marks, the owner of Pretty Little Things and Blooming Grounds Coffee House.

Blooming Grounds Coffee House and Pretty Little Things have been closed since the fire destroyed the neighboring building and all of her merchandise in September.

"This is the worst time of year it could have happened because fourth quarter is our peak season of selling, and so it was kind of a bummer," said Marks.

And not only is she closed for the holidays,. but orders she put in for the peak business season are still coming in.

"It's not as fun as it used to be to open up the boxes because we don't have anywhere to put it or anything to do with it and it's seasonal, so it's like you can't try and go sell that in May because it's last season," said Marks.

Sole Sport was the other retail business destroyed by the fire but they quickly found a new home across the street and was back in business in just more than a month.

"We've been really lucky compared to some of the other folks like Amy Jo over at Blooming Grounds. They're kind of in a holding pattern," said Sole Sport owner Torry Moore.

Moore says the new location is only half the size of the one that burned, but they're at least able to be open for the holidays.

"As any store will tell you, yes it's important to be up for the holidays, but also some of it is continuing keeping people involved, keeping our staff employed and moving forward," said Moore.

And as Marks and Moore continue to try to get on their feet, the strength of the community is pulling them through.

"Everyone's been really supportive, even if it's just looking around and saying it's neat to see you back," said Moore.

"It's nice to have that continued support, because it's easy to lose motivation as time drags on, and people are still very encouraging," said Marks.

Marks plans to renovate her existing businesses.