Future of Ellis Brothers Furniture site unclear

Matt Martin
May 28, 2014

After a devastating fire burned through the Ellis Brothers Furniture store last month, engineers determined the 100-year old building must come down. The owners aren’t sure what will happen to the site.

The stretched out arm of an excavator plows through the burned out shell of the Ellis Brothers building. Bricks blasted out of their century old homes shower the ground with debris.

Spectators snap photos with their cell phones as piece by piece the building comes down.

After the fire, the Ellis brothers had hoped to rehab the building. But co-owner Richard Ellis says that isn’t feasible.

“The city engineers and our engineer both concurred that the building need to come down immediately,” says Ellis.

The fire burned many of the supporting walls and collapsed the roof.

Richard Ellis says the last four weeks since the fire have been emotional for his family.

“It’s disheartening, I mean, this was my grandparent’s and father’s blood, sweat, and tears. And it’s almost like a death in the family," says Ellis.

The demo crews are now beginning to remove the debris.

The company’s other location on Washington Street is still open. But it’s not clear yet whether the brothers will be able to rebuild at the Water Street location.