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At Penney's it's 'what fire?'

Business finds way to overcome adversity, economy

A crew from Escape Estates in Sturbridge works on the roof of the new Penney’s Appliance showroom. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
April 06, 2010
STURBRIDGE — A devastating fire amid the worst economy of the last 50 years would be more than enough to bury most businesses.

That hasn't been the case for Russ and Terri Penney, owners of Penney's Appliance and Lawn Equipment at 171 Charlton Road.

An electrical fire ripped through the Penney's circa 1980s showroom building in September that took almost 12 hours to completely extinguish.

In the days following the fire, the Penneys relocated their business office to the warehouse, which stands behind the showroom building.

Now, just six months since the fire that destroyed their store, the Penneys have set up a temporary showroom, and are preparing to move into their new showroom — on the same footprint as the previous one — by the end of the summer.

"June is what we're shooting for," Russ Penney said Tuesday from the "portable classroom," that was issued by his insurance company and is currently serving as his showroom. "We're going to rock and roll once the building is legally permitted [for occupancy]."

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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