BRIDGEPORT — Less than 72 hours after flames gutted the storefront of Wilson Furniture Store, business will resume as usual just two doors down the street at the Wilson Mattress property, with beds and mattresses cleared out to make space for sofas, loveseats and recliners.
Store owner Jason Wilson said the store would open its doors at 10 a.m., with furniture pulled from the warehouse, completely untouched by Friday evening’s fire.
“We’re just two doors down, same side of the street, we’re just going to be on the corner. We’ve got all this going to be moved out this afternoon,” Wilson said, gesturing to the myriad mattresses filling the store Sunday afternoon.
“Tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., we’re going to fill it all back up with furniture. … Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’re going to re-merchandise our floors, we’re going to close Thursday to be thankful for what we do have and give everyone a break, and then we’re open for Black Friday and Saturday weekend.”
Wilson also wanted to reassure customers that furniture that had been ordered was in their off-site warehouse, meaning that no customers’ orders had been disrupted or destroyed by the fire.
Additionally, Wilson said that none of those employed by the store will have lost their jobs as a result of the fire, and several have been added for additional shifts during the weekend and morning to assist in relocating furniture from the warehouse.
Wilson said the outpouring of support, both from the public and from competing locally owned furniture stores, has been tremendous.
“What we want the public to know is that we thank them for their support,” he said. “I can’t tell you the countless numbers of Facebook messages, phone calls, texts, honks as people drive by. It’s very encouraging from the public. … Bill Pajak at Carolina Furniture, the Ferguson family at Ferguson’s House of Furniture, many of our representatives that we purchase our furniture from, all of them have reached out, and all of them want to be helpful. We are friends, although competitors, but we are truly friends.”
Bridgeport Fire Chief Mark Subasic said Sunday that the state fire marshal would be inspecting the site of the fire Monday. Wilson added that a representative from their insurance agency would also be on site at that time to assess the next steps for the property.
“This has been a 124-year legacy of my family,” he said. “My wife Leah and I are committed to our business, to our employees and our customers. We saw it as a major setback, but we also see it as an opportunity to continue to serve the public. … We are going to be here and we are going to be open for business.”