Home Furnishings Association member Beth McCall was at church Sunday night, July 21, when she learned lightning struck her Badcock Home Furniture & More in Folkston, Ga. By the time she got to the store, it was too late: The building was engulfed in flames.
The building, along with its inventory, was destroyed.
The fire “is like having a death in the family,” McCall said. “It really is because you have so much that you lose that cannot be brought back. It’s like a final chapter in our life, for this building.”
Looking for new address
McCall said she and her family are looking for a temporary place for their business, which they’ve owned for about 30 years, until they’re able to find a new permanent address. Even with insurance, starting over will take time. They’re leaning on faith to make it through.
Rob Burnette, president of Badcock, said July 23 the company already has “boots on the ground assisting” the McCalls. Badcock Corporation owns the inventory and quickly began adjusting the claim.
Helping dealers through natural disasters is nothing new to Badcock. The company frequently assists franchise members whose stores experience damage from tornadoes, fires or hurricanes.
“Since we’ve been there before, we can also handhold a dealer who may have never dealt with something like this before,” said Burnette. “We also have operations staff on site helping them find a temporary location. Depending on the scope of damage, we may also set up trailers to work out of temporarily.”
According to News 4 of Georgia, Charlton County and Brantley County firefighters spent three hours battling the blaze before bringing it under control. Eighteen trucks and dozens of firefighters were employed to extinguish the fire. No other buildings were damaged and no injuries were reported.
‘We’re not giving up’
Only making things worse is that McCall once lived in an apartment inside the building and lost some of her personal belongings in the fire.
“It’s hard because it’s like we’re starting over, but we’ll get through this,” she said. “We’re not giving up.”