Arnold’s owners vow to rebuild
By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
August 6, 2009 · Updated 5:21 PM
Longtime store will return to ‘the best little corner in Bremerton.’
Arnold’s Home Furnishings employees enjoyed cookies for breakfast Wednesday morning thanks to a loyal customer.
“It makes you feel really good inside,” said Ralph Erickson. “They’re really felt in the heart.”
Erickson, Arnold’s vice president and general manager, said customers have really shown their support to the longtime Bremerton business since most of the 66,000-square-foot store was reduced to ash during an intense fire in the early hours of July 27.
“We’ve always looked at our customers as friends of the store,” Erickson said.
Arnold’s temporary location is on Marine Drive, just two blocks away from the charred site on Kitsap Way.
Erickson said he is waiting to reopen inside the Broyhill Gallery, which was saved thanks to a sprinkler system.
“We will. It’s not hopeful, we will (get inside Broyhill),” he said.
Erickson said Arnold’s Home Furnishings will eventually be rebuilt at 3506 Kitsap Way, where it has sat for 58 years.
“That’s probably the best little corner in Bremerton,” he said. “Bremerton is home.”
Arnold’s Home Furnishings was founded in 1951 by Wendell and Betty Arnold, according to the company’s Web site. Over the years, the store grew to become the largest home furnishing center on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.
Erickson said manufacturers and furniture retailers throughout the Northwest have lent their support to the Arnold’s staff and offered to help out any way they can.
Erickson said shipments are still coming in and Arnold’s temporary location will have furniture soon.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” he said. “We’ve rallied and we’re going to make it work.”
As for the cause of the devastating fire, Bremerton Fire Marshal Mike Six said the investigation continues and a cause should be known soon.
Arnold’s Home Furnishings is temporarily located at 1305 Marine Drive and the phone number is (360) 377-5582.
“Just be patient. It’s been a little bit busy,” Erickson said.