Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Acme on FIRE!



The Pompton Lakes Acme burned to the ground on October 27, 1997. Ten other businesses were also destroyed. Light fixtures in the Acme were to blame for the start off the fire which ignited the wood trusses in the arched roof. The fire spread quickly throughout the roof of the 40 year old strip mall due to it's outdated design and lack of fire walls.

The photos in this post were provided courtesy of Rob Ascough but the source of each photo is unknown at this time.


Despite the night time sky and dark parking lot, this picture was taken early in the day as the Acme roof collapsed.


















A devastating end to what appears to have been a rather unique Acme. Certainly a one-of-a-kind sign which was built into the building rather than being out at the street.


The employees mentioned in this article who were accused of not calling the fire department in a timely manner filed defamation charges against Fire Chief Albert Evangelista. The Fire Chief claimed the employees waited 58 minutes to call 911 for help. According to the lawsuit, fire trucks were on the scene approximately 20 minutes after the fire was discovered. You can read the verdict and details of the lawsuit by clicking here.


The Klugetown Center was replaced with the Pompton Lakes Town Square as seen above. A gigantic A&P rose from the ashes... now an A&P Fresh... built much further back from the road than where the Acme was located. Interesting how A&P incorporated the angled, staggered loading dock style that is commonly seen in ShopRites.

UPDATE 2.25.10: Check out this cool picture of the Pompton Lakes Acme with the script logo still on the front! It's off in the distance but look closely and you will see it.

15 comments:

  1. Oh Boy, I remember that Acme Store and when it burned down taking everything else with it. It was a big blow for Pompton Lakes. The only thing left after the fire that stood standing was the ACME sign. The fire wiped out everything, including the Ben Franklin at the other end of the shopping center. I can remember the few times going in that store and that it was always pretty busy, as it was the local supermarket for the town. My mom didn't shop there as she preferred A&P. She thought Acme prices were higher than A&P. It was a shame what happened there and a bid disaster for the town.

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  2. I remember this one, I just wasn't sure where it was. I remember going past this store a couple of times and was surprised that they still had the old Acme fisheye logo on the store- I hadn't seen that in quite awhile. I remember reading the story about the fire too. It was about a year after I last was over in that area.

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  3. The store has the fish-eye logo at the end? I was wondering if the script signage along the canopy survived? Guess not. I worked for Acme when this happened and interested employees were sent to other area stores like Morris Plains, Rockaway, Succasunna and probably Clifton and East Rutherford too. The site sat vacant for years before the new shopping center was constructed.

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  4. Like I said, Rob, I was only over there one time, but I do remember the store having the fish-eye logo. The only other one I remembered that had that-from what I saw- was the long-since closed Lodi store (speaking of which, how hasn't that made its way on here? Did it close too long before the site was founded? The only identifying signage was the small sign in the front of store, and the Acme logo was replaced with A&P's logo when they took over the store; it's since closed again with A&P's bankruptcy).

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  5. The Lodi store is coming to the blog. I photographed it early last year while the A&P was still open. I will be getting back there soon to photograph it empty and will then be doing a post. Kinda missed the boat on this one... should have gone up when A&P closed those 25 stores last October.

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  6. KAPOOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. I wonder if there are any pictures left ot the acme before the fire

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  8. I remember when the Ben Franklin @ Klugetown was originally a Grant's...The Acme was always there from the start until the fire...

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  9. I also remember the Grants being where the Ben Franklin later was...W.T. Grant & Co. when out of business sometime in the mid 70's...Acme was always there, as the shopping center had been originally built by the supermarket chain...

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  10. It's interesting that there's a Wendy's at the very end of the Pompton Lakes Town Square, and in nearby Butler/Riverdale, there's a combined Wendy's/Applebee's.

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  11. Got any historic images of site including the Pompton Lakes Town Square and the Klugetown Center/DuPont Works? I found some on the website.

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  12. Just wanted to clarify that the Pompton Lakes A&P Fresh is still open. As far as I can tell, it was not on any of the 2010/2011 closing lists.

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    1. With A&P's 2015 bankruptcy the A&P will be closing as the 156 year old supermarket company winds down operations.

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  13. Very cool. Check out the A&P site when the Pompton Lakes A&P had just opened: http://web.archive.org/web/20010515223722/http://www.apmetro.com/

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