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Patti and John Bender stand in the room that was severely damaged by water. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

Home, Kitchen and Bath store reopens

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Nobody likes to receive a call like Patti and John Bender got on the Fourth of July.

They closed their store, Home Kitchen and Bath, for Booster Days weekend and their upstairs renter went out of town. When their tenant returned it was discovered that the washing machine hose had burst. Water had been filling that area of the apartment and more.

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"The water went all the way to the basement," said John. "We really don't know how long it was running."

The result was significant damage to the second show room of their store. They were closed until week last when the repairs were finally complete.

When the Benders arrived at the store, they found the ceiling had collapsed. The light fixtures had been driven into the floor and all of their stock, including many gourmet food items, had been destroyed.

They estimate a loss of over $10,000 of inventory.

HKB reopened on Aug. 18 with basically a brand new room. From paint and wallpaper to a slat board wall and floor -- it is all new.

The Benders are not new to disaster. In 1997 just days short of opening their store, the building caught on fire. John and Patti were stocking shelves and they had the front window covered with paper in preparation for opening day. They heard a knock, answered the door and were told to get out. The second story was on fire. A year later, in 1998, they were finally able to open their doors.

Today, they offer a complete line of home accessories, kitchenware, candles, gourmet food and spa items.

Of course, they still offer futons and futon covers, which was originally their niche. A grand reopening is planned for September. The shop is located at 412 Second St.

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