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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow SMOKE-DAMAGED STORE SETS SALE, PLANS REMODEL



By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

It takes more than a furnace problem that damages a lot of your inventory to keep one La Grande store owner down.

Sharon Dykes, owner of Good Things on Adams Avenue, starts a fire sale Friday and it will run to Jan. 1.

After that the store will be closed for extensive interior remodeling and restocking.

"We intend to re-open," she said. "We'll try to reduce the inventory with the sale, remodel and then re-open," Dykes said.

The store, with 8,000 square feet on the main level and mezzanine, was closed after a Dec. 2 malfunction of the basement furnace filled the building with smoke.

"We don't know why it happened," Dykes said. "When the furnace ignited, it blew its exhaust off and it exhausted into the building."

She said it was two hours before the problem was discovered and the building was filled with smoke.

"And it's diesel smoke," she said.

A lot of inventory was damaged and had to be destroyed, included such things as fudge and other candies on display in cases, coffee beans, products made of fabrics.

"There were silk florals, food products in paper. Tons of stuff. It all had to be thrown away," she said.

She has had appraisers and insurance adjusters in the store from Portland to Sacramento, Calif., since the fire but can't estimate the total value of the inventory lost.

"It was hundreds of thousands, a lot of money. I don't know the dollar amount. We're still calculating the dollar amount of the loss."

"We had insurance, but not as much as we needed for the inventory we have at this time of year," Dykes said.

The 4,000-square-foot basement was used for storage of many items, and that's where the most damage was, she said. Many items were in boxes. The items, such as ones made of ceramic, are still good but can't be sold because of the smoke smell, she said.

"A lot of the items we'll put on sale are perfectly good, with their boxes smoke damaged," she said.

"An item with a 101-year warranty is 25 percent off just because the box is damaged. Christmas items will be 60 percent off and some collectibles with be 40 percent off."

The coffee bar won't be open during the sale because the equipment still has to be cleaned, she said.

The building was once a hardware store and has a lot of peg-boards on various walls. Smoke got in behind those and they will all have to be removed, she said.

But reducing the inventory with a sale will mean workers won't have to move too many things around as they install new carpeting, paint and do other work, she said.


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