Fire causes extensive damage at Handy Andy’s in Latham

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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