Roof collapse won’t end furniture business in Lock Haven

After a roof collapse, the owner of Clinton County’s oldest furniture store started looking for a temporary location.

LOCK HAVEN, PA. – The tape surrounds Smith’s furniture and upholstery store in Lock Haven.

The snow from last week’s Wednesday storm caused the roof to collapse in the early hours of Thursday morning.

James Smith, the owner, says this will be its biggest setback in 2020 despite the difficulties facing the retail business.

“Even with the COVID shutdowns that lasted about six weeks, we had a record year for the business,” said Smith.

Everything in the furniture showroom is a loss.

“Because the trusses gave out and everything on the roof, the roofing membrane and the clapboard, everything fell on the furniture,” Smith said.

Smith’s is the oldest furniture store in Clinton County, and the business is no stranger to tragedy.

The store lost its original building in a fire in 1981 and relocated to this Woodward Avenue location.

Smith, the second generation owner, spent the day with architects and insurance agents to see if and when this building could be saved.

Smith said it seems the sidewall is sloping further and further every day. They hope to start demolishing as soon as possible.

Part of the store’s inventory is safe in a nearby warehouse.

The next steps for Smith and his wife are to visit potential temporary locations that can be used as storage and showrooms.

“People in the community have come to offer us help with storage space in this way, and there are some good opportunities for us, at least temporarily, very soon, to go into the business and open it up.”

Although there are many details to clear, Smith says he won’t let the setback be the end of their 80-year family business.

“We’re just very happy that there was no loss of life in this tragedy,” said Smith.

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