Carnation Auto Parts finally ready to open its doors

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CARNATION - Carnation Auto Parts Manager Bruce Kenyon has had bad luck with buildings.

In June of 1999, Kenyon's original NAPA store, a leased storefront in the Grange Grocery & Feed Store building, burnt to the ground. The fire was started by a space heater early one morning that had been located in the owner's portion of the old building.

Kenyon was forced to suspend business, but not for long. NAPA Territory Sales Manager Dale Franks drove from Eastern Washington the day of the fire to help.

With Franks' connections, Kenyon was able to locate a new lease on Tolt Avenue, get shelving and create a new inventory within six days, despite a Sunday and a Fourth of July holiday thrown into the equation.

However, finding the lease turned out to be the easy part as official approval for the store's renovation was difficult. Kenyon waited 20 days longer than expected before city inspectors approved the building and issued him a temporary occupancy permit.

When official signs reading "Do Not Occupy" were placed on the building's doors, an irritated Kenyon posted a "Ask City Hall Please!" placard.

Almost his entire inventory sat unused in the vacant building, and the remainder waited in boxes and piles on the floor of the old space.

"It's almost impossible to operate under these conditions. If I had a choice to build another building, I would never do it again because of these conditions," Kenyon said at the time.

Building official James Tinner said it's not the city's intention to delay businesses opening in the community.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this weeks Valley Record

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