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A Chewelah, Wa., hardware store that was totaled in a fire last summer continues operating on its existing site—despite the fact that the store has yet to be rebuilt.
Across the street from the former garden center of Sety’s Ace Hardware now sit 13 steel shipping containers, arranged in an L shape. Inside are mini-hardware store departments, with shelves along each side holding tools, electrical and plumbing supplies.
Three of the containers have heating to prevent products like paint and adhesives from freezing. Outdoor fireplaces line the exterior check-out area to keep shoppers warm in the winter months.
The Aug. 17 blaze destroyed Sety’s historic brick building and everything inside. The cause has not been determined, though investigators speculate it may have been from batteries in the middle of the store. Eventually, a new store will be built inside the shell of the old one.
In the meantime, regional representatives for co-op Ace Hardware suggested using the shipping containers. They got the idea from other Ace dealers who have used containers for seasonal pop-ups in such remote areas as Alaska.