Downtown Brawley landmark burns in early morning fire



Flames engulf Superior Furniture

Photo courtesy Bill Meister

(September 14, 2012. Brawley) Superior Furniture suffered a complete fire loss that began about 5:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Mary Miller, owner of Superior Furniture, watched as the firefighters knocked down the flames.  “I hoped that at least the blackboard would be saved so I could use it to thank all of the firefighters,” said Miller. “I’m just hoping everything in my safe survives the fire and all of the water. I have all of my important papers in it.”

Superior Furniture has been a downtown Brawley landmark since 1950.

To the north of Superior furniture, Valley Eye Care suffered major damage and the two businesses to the east sustained damage as well.

“I’ve been in that building for about 30 years,” said Dr. George Ching, MD, owner of Valley Eye Care. “I don’t even want to go in to see the damage.”

City Council Member Miguel Miranda said, “I remember my parents buying me a bicycle from Superior Furniture in 1968. They have always been very fair with Brawley residents, helping young families furnish their homes over the years.” 

Monica Kenagy, Miller’s daughter, said “We’ll just pick up the pieces and start over.”

“About 5:00 a.m. a Brawley police officer spotted a power line behind the furniture store on fire,” said Chuck Peraza, Interim Brawley Fire Chief. “The power pole was engulfed in flames and the line fell onto the roof. Once the flames breached the roof, the building rapidly became totally involved.”

The source of the fire is under investigation.

Main Street was closed to traffic downtown. Brawley Fire Department and Imperial County units all responded to the fire.

“It’s a sad day for Brawley,” said Jake “Chapo” Valenzuela, retired fire chief at NAF.

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