Store gets startling deja vu; Hope Chest damaged in two incidents a year apart

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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The Hope Chest resale shop in Bridgeport was damaged Monday when a pickup truck plowed into the front of the building.

Store manager Deann Matney said she heard a loud revving sound outside just before the moment of impact around 10:30.

“I thought someone was racing by,” she said.

Instead, a small pickup that had been parked in front of the shop jumped a couple of curbs and struck the building underneath a large window, just a few feet from where Matney was seated behind her desk.

She tried to go outside to check on the man, but the force of the impact had caused the front door to jam. The pickup’s driver was not injured.

Matney said the truck actually struck a coffee table on the outside of the store and pushed it into the building, causing the lower section of the wall to move a few inches inward. A glass window pane near the door was also shattered.

Amazingly, the coffee table barely received a scratch, and the large window just above the point of impact was not even cracked.

Only minor damage was reported in the interior of the store as items on shelves near the point of impact were knocked to the ground.

Ironically, it was one year ago to the day that the store received significant damage when a microburst storm with strong winds ripped the roof off of a nearby building and deposited it on the roof of The Hope Chest. A large chunk of stone that was attached to the displaced roof crashed through the ceiling of the store, crushing several items on shelving located just a few feet away from the site of the latest damage. Evidence of the roof repair can still be seen as a patch of lighter-colored wood on the ceiling.

The store was closed for the rest of Monday and part of the day Tuesday as temporary repairs were made. Once insurance adjusters take a look at the building and determine the extent of the damage, the store could close at some point for a few days as permanent repairs are made.

Proceeds from the store are used to help fund the Wise Hope Shelter for victims of domestic violence.

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