SARANAC LAKE – Aubuchon Hardware is planning to rebuild a new home for its two cats, Harry and Lloyd.
The hardware store burned down in a fire that broke out in the early morning hours of January 25 at the Consolidated Electrical Distributors – Twin Electricity Supply, MC Building, and ADK Solar Building connected to Aubushun. Aubuchon’s store cats – Harry and Lloyd – were rescued by firefighters and store manager Rich Hogg within 10 minutes of their arrival on the scene.
But the store and neighboring businesses were a loss. The fire shot huge towers of flame into the sky and 13 fire departments from three counties were brought in to fight it.
The company’s plan is to demolish the existing structure and build a new store at that location, Aubuchon Hardware’s regional manager, Justin Bucknell, said Friday. Aubuchon owns the entire complex. Bucknell said they looked at an alternative site in the area, but that didn’t work, so they’re building on the site of the former store.
He said there are a lot of challenges to build quickly, but they hope to reopen the store by “About this time in 2024.”
Bucknell said they plan to begin demolition of the burning building in about a month. He said they still don’t know the official cause of the fire.
Jordan Goren, a spokesman for the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, said the fire is classified as “accidental.”
It was determined that the fire started in the utility area and involved a furnace. Guerrein wrote in an email.
Bucknell said they can’t estimate the construction price yet. He said the company’s insurance covered the fire damage “Enough to be able to do what we need to do.” Losses were not covered by sales, but goods and structure.
We don’t have any official designs. He said. “We are in the early stages.”
Bucknell said there are zoning regulations that have come in since the previous building was built and they’ll have to adhere to them now. It is likely that there will be additional tenants in the yard, as there were before – ADK Solar, MC Construction and CED Electric – but he said the hardware store may be on the left side of the property rather than the right.
He said the store will likely be of a different layout and square footage.
Bucknell said the company has offered all employees the option of moving to Tupper Lake or Lake Placid locations. He said most chose Lake Placid because it’s closer. Some employees have moved on to different jobs that he said he understood.
When the store reopens, he said everyone will be given a chance to reapply for jobs. And more are expected to find other work before the Saranac Lake site reopens, too.
“We understand that it is not an ideal situation for everyone to put up with,” Bucknell said.
Harry and Lloyd are currently staying at the Lake Placid location in Aubuchon, he said, with Lake Placid shop cats Aura and Ricky.
“We have cats in this store too, and we wanted to make sure all of our furry employees had a good relationship,” she says. Bucknell said. “Those cats were amazing. They are part of the team.”
He said the same offer would be extended to return as other store employees.