Fire causes extensive damage at Handy Andy's in Latham - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Fire causes extensive damage at Handy Andy's in Latham

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LATHAM, N.Y. - A fire broke out at the Handy Andy's food store on Watervliet Shaker Road/Route 155 Thursday afternoon.

Handy Andy's has stood on Route 155 in Latham since 1952, a long-time landmark of the area.  It was open for business when the fire broke out, but no one was hurt.  But there is extensive damage to the building.

Luann Akins, who owns the actual building, not business, says it has been in her family for more than 60 years.  Originally named "Norm's Friendly Market", the building began to be leased out in the 1970s.

"I remember playing in it when I was a kid, and it's got a lot of sentimental value," says Akins.

Akins says her parents left the building to her and her brother, and they were currently having work done on the roof when the fire broke out.

"The damage is very extensive," says Latham Fire Chief Neil Blanchard.  "We had to do some work on the roof to get the bulk of the fire knocked down, after we waited for National Grid to come turn the electricity off."

As the fire continues to be investigated, Akins calls it a very sad thing. 

"A lot of memories," she says.

The owner of Handy Andy's says the future of the business will depend on whatever Akins decides to do with the building.

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