EVERETT — Thousands of dollars worth of handcrafted wood furniture was lost early Tuesday morning when fire destroyed the storage barn for Zimmerman’s Country Furniture along Lincoln Highway.
Steve Zimmerman, owner of the family business, said the cause of the fire was still unknown Tuesday. The state police fire marshal was called to investigate.
“That was one of the most beautiful barns I’ve ever seen,” Zimmerman said, looking out at the remaining rubble. “It was an awesome building.”
The fire was reported at 2:32 a.m., according to Bedford County emergency dispatch reports.
“A fireman smelled the smoke from the (traffic) light up there, and luckily he found where it was coming from and called it in,” Zimmerman said, adding he got the phone call a short time later. “When I got here it was already down.”
Zimmerman’s Country Furniture, which sells handcrafted and rustic indoor and outdoor furniture, moved into the historic building at 10241 Lincoln Highway in November 2017. The main building of the business, which Zimmerman said was built in the 1700s, was not damaged by the neighboring blaze.
Zimmerman said the barn was not as old as the original building, but added it was quite old itself.
“They don’t make them like that anymore,” he said.
The age of the barn likely caused it to burn quickly, Zimmerman added.
“The lumber was so dry, once it gets hit with a little wind, it’s gone,” he said.
The two-story barn included an attached three-bay garage and was full of merchandise and equipment. The bottom level of the barn mainly housed outdoor furniture and the equipment like a tractor, lawn mowers and a generator. The garage was used as a “staging area” to store indoor furniture orders awaiting shipment and other items.
Zimmerman estimated he had at least $35,000 worth of furniture and equipment in the barn. He said he will need to go through an inventory the items for insurance.
“Every time I talk I think of more stuff I forgot,” he said.
Some of the items lost were not replaceable.
“That’s a really sad thing. I’ve been buying up furniture my father made to save for my children. I had it stacked right there,” Zimmerman said, pointing to the center of the rubble in the center of the garage area.
“That’s stuff that can never be replaced.”
Zimmerman said his late father, Clifford, started the wood furniture company in 1991. He took over ownership of the business in 2006 after his father died the previous year.
Since that time, the business has expanded to include all types of indoor and outdoor furniture.
“From 2006 until today, we went from rocking chairs and swings to supplying the entire home with rustic furniture and decor,” he said.
The property, which included the main building and the barn, is owned by C and H Development.
The Everett Fire Company was in command of the scene and was assisted at the scene by crews from Bedford, Breezewood, Six Mile Run and Alum Bank, as well as Everett Borough Police and Raystown Ambulance.
The fire was under control by 5:38 a.m. and all units were back in service by 7:17 a.m.
Everett firefighters responded to a re-kindle on Tuesday evening.
The furniture business will remain open despite the fire.
“We opened at 10 a.m. this morning, just like normal,” Zimmerman said.
But the owner added he is in need of a new storage facility.
“I definitely have a large storage need right now,” he said. “That’s going to be a struggle — we need a place for storage.”
Zimmerman said he was thankful no one was hurt in the blaze. He said a “Cross” formed what remained of the barn’s frame reminded him to stay positive during the difficult time.
“When I seen that Cross, it really sunk in,” he said. “We’ll see what God has in store.”