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Family-owned Stanly County furniture plant relocating just days after fire rips through building

Morgan Chair announced that just a week after the devastating fire, they plan to reopen at a different location.

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. — Residents in Stanfield, North Carolina, are coming together in support of a family-owned furniture plant that lost its factory in a large fire last Friday. Morgan Chair announced that just a week after the devastating fire, they plan to reopen at a different location. 

"Instead of months of being closed, we reopened the next business day.  Literally," Morgan Chair wrote on Facebook.

Scissors found in the rumble were used to cut the red ribbon to celebrate the opening of their new location.

"They had a building ready for us that had the utilities that we needed and it was only a few minutes from our old location," Jesse Morgan, the owner of Morgan Chair, said.

Community members pulled resources and connections together so the 40-year-old family business could stay open.

"They could have just said, 'Oh, poor Morgan Chair,' but the way [the community[ rallied around Jesse, his family and this business.... It helped save 25-30 jobs," Chris Smith, the company's delivery & installation manager, said. "It means a great deal."

Within a week of the fire, Morgan Chair had a new location, equipment, and supplies. The work never stopped. 

"We had people with supplies. We had no scissors, fabric and people just showed up with stuff," Morgan explained. "We had a company come in and build the tables we needed."

Morgan said their Friday celebration was about thanking the community members. It was also about loving their employees and staff, who will be creating new memories as the legacy of Morgan Chair continues one piece of furniture at a time.

"It takes a village," Rick Allen, a Stanly County resident, said. "Their employees stayed with him and they are not going to miss a day’s work. Jesse wanted that."

"Something bad happens and people just come together to help them out. That’s how it’s always been here," Joey Carpenter said.

From devastation to a sense of hope.

"The Morgan's will pull through it," Allen said. "They are good, strong, hard-working people."

"The community was there last Friday but that was different circumstances. We were in tears," said Morgan. "Now the community can come to celebrate with us under different circumstances."

The business even completed its first ottoman in its new location. Morgan said it is a testament to Morgan Chair's strength. 

"We pulled something off that is just remarkable," Morgan said. "We want other people to know about that. It is a story of hope and just the goodness of God that these doors have been opened for us."

Tyler Huntly with the West Stanly Fire Department said the fire started around 3:40 p.m. last week with crews arriving just minutes later. Huntly estimated about 20% of the factory was already burned when they started working and tried to fight the flames from the opposite side.

RELATED: Fire rips through family-owned Stanly County furniture plant

Huntly noted other departments quickly arrived to help, including Midland Fire and Rescue, Ridge Crest, and Oak Burrow. 

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Posted by Morgan Chair on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Huntly said there was one employee still inside the factory at the time. Crews weren't able to get inside and search because of how large the fire was. However, the employee safely left the factory. No injuries were reported.

"Friday night was a tearful night. I had no clue, no hope and I didn’t know what do," said Morgan. "I had to answer to my employees and I didn’t have the answers."

He said the building was a total loss.

Morgan Chair can now be found at 209 South Main Street in Oakboro.

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