Owner, community members at a loss for words, after longtime family business goes up in flames

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - A fire broke out at The Pondarosa Furniture Store in Trinity Thursday morning. Trinity Fire Department says fire crews battled the flames for five hours.

The store has been family owned and operated for 51 years. Long time Trinity resident Gary Swims is in disbelief.

"It's hurtful, it's going to hurt a lot of people around here , because they buy furniture and bedroom sets from here. It's not going to be the same without it," Swims explained.

Trinity Fire Chief Bill Pettey said Pondarosa's presence will be missed and he feels sorry for the owners. "It's their life, and they lost something that have worked on for all of their life, at least heir business life. I hate to see them lose it. I'm sure it's emotional for them," Chief Pettey said.

Sherry Bryant's father owned the business, but she's been running things. She said her dad poured his heart and soul into the company. "Life work for my dad gone, I've worked here all my life, so it's just hard," Bryant explained.

She said to see the damage is heartbreaking.

Though, the business is gone Bryant is thankful no one was hurt. She's also grateful for the outpouring of love her family and employees have received. "I want to thank all of our loyal customers. I think we have the best customers in the world. They are great to work with and I appreciate their business through the years, and if we open again I will be glad to see them again," Bryant explained.

As of now she doesn't know what the future holds for Pondarosa. Chief Pettey said the cause of the fire is under investigation. The case has been turned over to the State Fire Marshal's office.