Store owner praises quick report of fire

BROOKLINE – Bingham Lumber’s owner on Monday paid credit to a quick-thinking employee who reported a fire in the showroom to the fire department.

Firefighters from three towns took an hour to control a blaze within the walls of Bingham Lumber’s showroom around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Brookline Fire Chief Charles Corey Sr.

On Monday, owner Tom Bingham said parts of the showroom will be closed six to eight weeks. “But things will go on,” Bingham said.

He said the business reopened Saturday. Some phones had to be rerouted and the staff had to do some work with calculators or in their heads since the computers were down.

Part of the showroom may get partitioned off and open sooner, Bingham said. “We created too nice of a showroom to keep it closed,” said Bingham, who estimated the cost of the damage at $150,000 to $200,000.

The showroom was set to open when an employee spotted smoke, Corey said, and called the fire department.

“It’s a good thing he came in early,” Corey said.

Bingham praised the employee for “thinking quickly.” He said the employee used several fire extinguishers to fight the fire, called 911, then directed the fire department to the blaze.

Bingham said he was impressed that the insurance company, Pennsylvania Lumbermen Mutual Insurance Co., was able to get a cleaning crew in quickly.