Ellis Family: 'We will rebuild in the exact location'

By Brandi Bailey

May 1, 2014 Updated May 2, 2014 at 1:03 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Members of the Ellis family stopped by the charred rubble of the contemporary furniture store on Water Street. The building housed their warehouse and showroom since the 1940s.

The Water Street business has been owned by the family for more than 80 years.

"My grandfather and his brother founded the business. My father and his father worked hand in hand for a few years, then I worked with my father for 25 years before his death," said Charles Ellis, Vice President of the company.

Ellis said when he first heard the news, his reaction was shock and disbelief.

" When I was crossing the Memorial Bridge and looked over and saw the smoke billowing, I knew that we had an issue. A big issue," Ellis said.

The second alarm fire was fought by Binghamton fire crews.

Now, only the exterior and remnants of the furniture store remains.

Since the smoke cleared, the family has begun to think about the future.

"We have every intention of rebuilding the building and reopening it exactly where it is," Ellis said.

The family said whether it's a new build or restoring the existing structure, the Ellis Brothers Contemporary Store will be back.

Investigators continue to search for the cause of the fire.

The fire department and city engineers will work together to determine whether the century-old building can be saved.