COLUMBIA CITY — Though it seemed everything went up in smoke for Grable and Associates Realty last month, September ended on a high note, as the company joined RE/MAX LLC last week.

“God’s presence and sovereignty through the whole ordeal was phenomenal,” said Angela Grable.

Grable purchased the RE/MAX franchise in July, planning to launch at the end of September.

In early September, the home that housed Grable and Associates Realty caught fire.

Weeks before Grable and Associates Realty was planning to join RE/MAX, the company’s home caught on fire.

“The office we worked so hard for caught on fire,” Grable said. “We were shocked and devastated, but we couldn’t help but to look for the silver lining, because we know there always is one.”

Grable was “completely overwhelmed” by the response from the community — especially a gesture from Scott Darley, of Coldwell Banker realty — a competitor of Grable and Associates Realty.

“He offered his condolences and said he had plenty of empty cubicles at his office — he invited me and my agents to work at his office until we found a new home,” Grable said. “When we hung up, I cried. Not only because I was relieved for the solution to our immediate problem, but the offer itself and the love behind it.

“With all of the hate in the world — everywhere we look right now — then we have a disaster like this and we are shown what a wonderful community we live in. There’s still love and compassion in this world. Jesus is alive and well in Columbia City.”

Grable thanks the Columbia City Fire Department for working diligently to preserve as much of the building as possible, but it is still unclear if Grable Real Estate and Associates will ever return to the building is has been in for many years.

The group has set up shop temporarily in the Linvill Center on East Van Buren Street. Just seven days after the fire, all phone lines, internet, desks, chairs and information was transferred to the new office.

“It all miraculously fell into place,” Grable said. “Not that we didn’t work hard, but everyone said it would be impossible — yet we had an office just seven days later. We took that as a sign to continue moving forward.”

Grable and her associates had to move quickly. A week after the fire, Grable was scheduled to go to Colorado for RE/MAX broker training.

Because of insurance delays, that week turned into three days.

“We literally had three days to throw an office space together and get it functioning for our agents, otherwise we were cancelling. I wasn’t going to leave or agents homeless,” Grable said. “The Lord made sure everything fell into place.”

Grable and Associates Realty, now RE/MAX Integrity, includes Grable and her 11 agents.

RE/MAX has 113,000 real estate professionals and 7,000 offices worldwide.

RE/MAX Integrity serves buyers and sellers in Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Noble and Whitley Counties. Grable and Associates Realty first opened in 1984. Angela Grable has been managing broker since 2003 and is a third generation broker. Her husband, Jeremy Patton joins the operation with nearly a decade of management and sales experience.

“Few people know the real estate market in this region like Angela. Northeast Indiana real estate is in her blood,” executive vice president and regional director of the Midwest region for RE/MAX INTEGRA Fiona Petrie said. “Not only do Angela and Jeremy treat their clients like family, but their agents as well. Partnering with solid team players like them is what makes RE/MAX the dominant market leader across Indiana and in other states in the Midwest.”

RE/MAX Integrity launches as the northeast Indiana real estate market continues to experience heightened competition due to lower inventory and high consumer confidence.

RE/MAX Integrity’s office is located at 215 E Van Buren St., Columbia City.