Saundra's Furniture Owner: 'It's Been An Anchor For Years' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Saundra's Furniture Owner: 'It's Been An Anchor For Years'

Posted: Updated:
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Massive Fire Destroys Colville Furniture Store

    Massive Fire Destroys Colville Furniture Store

    Sunday, February 17 2013 9:46 PM EST2013-02-18 02:46:49 GMT
    COLVILLE, Wash. - Firefighters and police have reopened the road in downtown Colville that was blocked due to efforts in fighting the devastating blaze at Saundra's Furniture and Design.
    >>
    COLVILLE, Wash. - Firefighters and police have reopened the road in downtown Colville that was blocked due to efforts in fighting the devastating blaze at Saundra's Furniture and Design. INSIDE>>>|SLIDESHOW|RAW INTERVIEW WITH OWNER OF STORE|VIDEO FROM THE SCENE>>

COLVILLE, Wash. – The Colville Police and Fire Departments were on scene Sunday working to determine the cause of a fire that completely destroyed a furniture store Saturday night. 

The Colville Police Chief said they were very cautious about who they sent inside Saundra's Furniture & Design because with the extensive fire damage, the walls were very unstable.

The damage is too extensive for repairs, so now store employees and the owner are trying to figure out where to go from here.

"I'm not sure," said Saundra Furniture and Design Store Owner, Saundra Wilma. "We are going to talk to an insurance company and see how we can support our employees while we re-build. That's the biggest thing is to figure out how to do that."

Saundra has owned the furniture store in downtown Colville for close to twenty years.

"I already cried on the way home," Saundra said. "It is just a lot of work that we've all put in, my employees are like family and they all asked me where do they report Monday, I don't know where they go."

She says everyone is devastated at the loss of the store that has been a fixture in town for the past fifty years.     

"It's another family member, the store is to everyone, as are all of my employees," Saundra said. "They're all family members, not that we're related, it just seems like it. We're one big family."

Saundra's daughter, Genevieve Wilma, took over as manager in January. She says she locked up the store around 6:00 p.m. and received the call about the fire just two hours later.  

"I saw the building orange all the way up as far as I could see and fire everywhere," Genevieve Wilma said. "People were on the street taking pictures just in amazement and coming up to me and giving me hugs."

The fire started shortly after 8:00 p.m. Saturday and quickly spread through the furniture store. The furniture inside is completely burned and even though the walls of the building are still standing, they will not be for much longer. Crews said the structure is so unstable they will have to knock it down and start completely from scratch.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, rumors are circulating around town.

"I did talk to a reserve officer who said that someone across the street saw a white car drive off squealing and fast and thought they threw something at it," Saundra said. "That's the word on the street."

The police chief could not confirm whether or not the fire was arson. The investigation into the cause is still ongoing.

Although it will take time to repair, Saundra hopes to rebuild the store just as it was.

"This is the right place and Colville needs this store to be open here they really do," Saundra said. "It's really an anchor and it's been an anchor for years."

Therefore, in the meantime, business must go on.

"We need to get a phone to forward our calls to, we need to get an office, and we need to deliver furniture next week that's still in our warehouse thank goodness, but anything that was sold that's on the floor is gone," Saundra said. 

Saundra also says she has received an incredible amount of support from the community and from people on Facebook. She is just thankful no one was hurt in the fire. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Carlton Complex: 71% contained; 251,698 acres burned

    Carlton Complex: 71% contained; 251,698 acres burned

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:22:03 GMT
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Carlton Complex is now 71% contained and is 251,698 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing the hot, difficult work of “mopping up” and strengthening the fire line, especially in the areas south of Highway 20 towards the summit of Loop Loop.>>
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Carlton Complex is now 71% contained and is 251,698 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing the hot, difficult work of “mopping up” and strengthening the fire line, especially in the areas south of Highway 20 towards the summit of Loop Loop. >>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Grab a tissue to watch how one bank is thanking its customers

    VIRAL VIDEO: Grab a tissue to watch how one bank is thanking its customers

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:05:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - TD Canada Trust was determined to thank their customers in a unique and memorable way. About halfway through this video you will understand why it has had millions of views. Grab a tissue for this touching video and hopefully watching this will serve as a reminder to all of us, that a little kindness can go a long way.>>
    KHQ.COM - TD Canada Trust was determined to thank their customers in a unique and memorable way. About halfway through this video you will understand why it has had millions of views. Grab a tissue for this touching video and hopefully watching this will serve as a reminder to all of us, that a little kindness can go a long way.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:18:46 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted.>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted. Deputy Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office told KHQ the homeowners returned to their house at around 6:00pm Wednesday and noticed their home had been burglarized.>>
  • Throwback Thursday: Skateboarding

    Throwback Thursday: Skateboarding

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:13:02 GMT
    KHQ.com - The battle against skateboarders was in full force in 1990 where we found this clip featuring "the path of destruction" caused by young skateboarders in downtown Spokane. Without a skatepark, where were the kids to go? One of the first official skateparks in downtown was built until 7 years later.>>
    KHQ.com - The battle against skateboarders was in full force in 1990 where we found this clip featuring "the path of destruction" caused by young skateboarders in downtown Spokane. Without a skatepark, where were the kids to go? One of the first official skateparks in downtown was built until 7 years later.
    >>
  • KEEPING VIGIL: Double J Dog Ranch

    KEEPING VIGIL: Double J Dog Ranch

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:55:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of us will never know what it is like to live with a disability.For the past 5 years Duane and Cristene Justus have opened their home and hearts to many special needs dogs. Currently they have 17. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of us will never know what it is like to live with a disability.For the past 5 years Duane and Cristene Justus have opened their home and hearts to many special needs dogs. Currently they have 17. KHQ's Stephanie Vigil was lucky enough to spend an afternoon at Double J Dog Ranch. Cristene and Duane Justus can't imagine euthanizing the dogs, who don't get adopted out as much as normal dogs do. "My heart is so big for them because they don’t know any different.>>