Goodwill store finds new home after fire damage

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published March 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 29, 2013 at 9:51 a.m.
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Emily Van Zandt

Kyla Wilson, left, of Conway and Nichole Boatman of Jonesboro work to stock a new temporary location of the Goodwill store in Searcy. Store managers from across the state came to Searcy to help after the old Searcy Goodwill was destroyed in a fire.

— With help coming from across the state, the Goodwill in Searcy reopened in a temporary location Thursday after a fire destroyed the original store.

The old store, at 3707 E. Race Ave., caught fire in the early morning of March 22. The store, which had been open in that location since the ’80s, was later deemed a total loss.

The Goodwill was not without a home for long. A temporary store at 2009 E. Race Ave. started being stocked just three days after the fire, and by Thursday, the doors were open.

“The community has been donating since the fire,” district manager Cedric Horton said. “They’ve almost filled a 48-foot trailer.”

In addition to donations from the Searcy community, stock was driven in from Goodwill stores across the state, and other store managers were also called to Searcy to help set up the new shop.

The crew began working Monday, and by Wednesday, the store looked ready to go.

“We hung up the ‘Now Open’ sign out front because we had the lift here,” Horton said. “We’re not even open until Thursday, and we’ve already had 30 or 40 people stop by wanting to shop.”

Horton and Searcy store manager Theresa Wood both said the community’s response after the fire has been very positive.

The cause of the fire at the old Goodwill store had not yet been determined at press time, but Horton said a fire investigator had visited the scene. No one was injured in the blaze.

“The people of Searcy and White County have been incredibly generous donors and customers of Goodwill for decades, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused,” Brian Itzkowitz, CEO for Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, said in a news release. “We’re grateful no one was hurt in the fire, and we are firmly committed to continuing our service to the region.”

The new store, next to Aaron’s in the Old Towne Shopping Center, will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or

Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at .