One year after string of arson, fireworks store owner forgives and moves forward

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 17:26:51-04

WYOMING, Mich. -- A fire extinguisher propped open the door Wednesday morning at GS Fireworks, as store owner David Jewell helped customers and one man watched the displays on a computer screen.

Yet last July 5, the only thing crackling was the store itself.

"A lot of hard work," said Jewell, "working 12 hours a day rebuilding this place."

Though Jewell says he doesn't look back, he says he won't forget that morning and the black smoke he saw before flames engulfed his store at 1530 44th St. SW in Wyoming.

"I hustled down to the intersection of Burlingame and 44th, threw my car in park, sprinted down here and could not believe my eyes," he said. "I mean, you do not plan for something to be burnt to the ground like this.”

That day police say 34-year-old Casey Marvin went on a two-hour crime spree after they pieced together he set fire to Jewell's store that morning, then an apartment balcony next door, a stolen car and then a can of paint at another home he broke into after taking a shower and a glass of orange juice.

Marvin was sentenced last fall six to 20 years in prison.

"There’s going to be peaks and valleys in life, and get ready for the valleys because they do come around," Jewell said.

It's perseverance that turned into forgiveness for Jewell as he and friends rebuilt his store.

"To Casey Marvin, I hope that you get your life back on track," said Jewell.

"I do have forgiveness in my heart. I hope that when you get out of prison that you get your life back on track.”