Damage has been estimated at more than a million dollars to the building and inventory destroyed yesterday in a fire at the Rustic Acres furniture store in White Township. The state police fire marshal is investigating the blaze, which broke out shortly before 8 AM.
The Rustic Acres store was purchased by David Reed in 1999, when he moved his business to Indiana from Dubois. Prior to that, it had been known as Country Manor Furniture, and it was initially a barn on the Smith Farm, once Indiana County’s largest dairy farm. Reed says he’s not sure yet if he will rebuild the family business. In addition to the furniture store, the building also housed the Indiana County Blind Association, which relocated to a basement at Rustic Acres after being burned out of building on North 4th Street in Indiana in 2006. .
Shortly before 8 a.m. John Scherf a detective with the Indiana Borough Police Department was driving to work on West Pike Road and passed the furniture store and noticed smoke.
The Indiana Fire Department and the Indiana County Rapid Intervention team were dispatched to the fire, and then the Blairsville, Homer City, Cherryhill Township, Clymer, Coral-Graceton and Hope fire departments were all called to assist with the fire.
Indiana Fire Chief Chuck Kelly talks about battling the flames: