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Colville furniture store complete loss, fire under investigation

By Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Feb 17 2013 04:36:40 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 17 2013 09:23:31 PM CST
Colville furniture store complete loss, fire under investigation
COLVILLE, Wash. -

Fire lit up the sky in Colville last night, and shook the town when it woke up this morning.

Sandra's Furniture and Flooring burned to the ground last night just after 8 p.m.

The store is a landmark in the tight-knit community of Colville. People rushed to the scene last night to be supportive of the owners and one another.

You can't drive down main street in Colville without seeing Saundra's Furniture and Flooring.

"My parents just recently bought some furniture in here," Colville resident Pamela Adams said.

In fact, it's hard to find anyone in Colville who hasn't at least gone inside the furniture store.

"Mom and I went in last week," Jeri Lynn Cabbage said.

That's why today, the scene of the fire was so hard to see.

"It was unbelievable," Cabbage said.

The fire sparked just after 8 p.m. Saturday night. Thirty-five firefighters tried to douse the flames, but the store was already gone.

Instead, firefighters resorted to save the surrounding businesses. At one point, it was so hot across the street that people had to be moved down the block.

In the end, flooring, furniture and a family business were destroyed.

"It came across my phone on Facebook that Saundra's was on fire," store owner Saundra Wilma said.

The store has been Wilma's second home for years.

"And we raised Jeni there from the time she was a baby, so it's part of our house," Wilma said.

Wilma says she hasn't slept yet. Instead, she's still trying to understand what happened.

"It just doesn't go away, we don't know what to do next," she said.

The store is a total loss. Wilma says she will rebuild the store so that main street - and her heart - can be whole again.

"That's just the natural thing, is to rebuild it, better than ever," said Wilma.

Colville police and firefighters are asking for help, as the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious before the fire started is asked to call police.

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