Kimball Lumber moving forward after fire

·2 min read
The Kimball Lumber showroom in Kingsville is operating out of a temporary trailer. Plans are underway for a new showroom. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
The Kimball Lumber showroom in Kingsville is operating out of a temporary trailer. Plans are underway for a new showroom. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

A Thanksgiving weekend fire destroyed the showroom and offices of Kimball Lumber in Kingsville but the people who work there have pulled together to keep the business going in temporary digs and they're on their way to rebuilding.

The rubble has been cleared and the owners and staff are working out of trailers set up for offices and the showroom.

"The first couple of days we were working out of the back of our pickup trucks," said Matt Souchereau, rental and shipper manager.

Souchereau says the temporary showroom is less than a third the size of the original building but fortunately 80 per cent of their business is filling lumber and other supply orders for contractors and the lumber yard was not damaged.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

He said plans are now in the works for a bigger and better store.

"So we'll be able to display more items. We have a lot more height on the inside so we can have more product in the store. So it should be much better," he said.

All the employees have kept their jobs and they say the community has been very supportive.

"They're shocked actually. They're surprised at how fast we've bounced back. We've got a great team here. It's a big family so we're working together to pull it together," said sales associate Lynne Knapp.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

The damage was estimated at around $1.5 million but there was some memorabilia lost that can't be replaced.

"News articles from when the business first started. We won a couple of Golden Hammer awards that were lost on small things here and there, but to some of the staff who've been here for 20 or 30 years they're pretty important," said Souchereau.

Investigators were unable to determine a cause for the fire. The owners hope to start construction on the new showroom sometime in the new year and expect to have it open to the public next fall.

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