Birmingham, AL Hobby Shop Burns to Ground

Today's Birmingham News reports that Spivey Hobby, Toys and Gifts burned to
the ground yesterday. The owner, Mr. Spivey, 78 years old, said he lost
everything in the fire. HIs building was constructed in 1932. He remodeled
his building in 1947 and 1989. His insurance carrier cancelled his
insurance policy on 20 May 2005, saying the building was too old to continue
insuring. A local resident was quoted as saying "I have bought toy
airplanes out of here for my kids. When I was a little girl my mom stuff
for me out there. Wheere else can you go now and buy a lot of this stuff?
It's very sad to see a building like this go because we have no other way to
buy the toy models."
Sounds like a lot of sad customers. No one was hurt in the fire.
Jerry 47
Reply to
jerry 47
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I don't usually go on paranoia trips, but having the building burn to the ground two weeks after the insurance is cancelled on grounds that (at least from my point of view) sound far fetched is a bit much. Is there anyone who could be motivated to some very foul play somewhere in this story?
Reply to
Rob van Riel
Has anybody been making pitches to the guy to sell the building? Someone have a project to "re vitalize" the area, at a good profit to themselves maybe? Some people's ideas of "Progress" can make them do some pretty arrogant things.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
I left out part of the story. The owner and customers were in the store when the fire started in the back room. It was small at first and several customers tried to put it out, but, it got away from them. No one suspects four play and early indications are it was an electrical fire. Jerry 47
Reply to
jerry 47
Yea, I remember buying there. It was a very good place to go into. I hate it to see it burned down. If they are going to rebuild it, I feel for them. If not, then it will be missed..
With respects...
Reply to
William L. Powell
As a lifelong Birmingham area resident, I have spent many $$$ at Spivey's. I doubt they will rebuild, as anyone familiar with the Birmingham area realizes what a blighted area the store was located in. Once a fairly nice residential area, years of urban flight have turned the immediate surrounding area into a shadow of itself. Also, the opening of several suburban hobby shops around town reduced his customer base somewhat. I think he still had a significant R/C business, but the last time I was in there his plastic model inventory was woefully low. The store also carried some general merchandise items as well, and the neighborhood will miss this. Several years (15 or so), they attempted to open a branch in the upscale area of Hoover, just south of Birmingham, but closed it after a few years. The store's loss is a shame, both for the neighborhood and the Spivey family. They are extremely nice folks.
John Bass Birmingham, Al
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