BENNINGTON -- Whatever caused the blaze that gutted LaFlamme’s Furniture Store Jan. 3, it’s not suspicious according to state fire investigators.

According to Detective Sgt. Jeremy Hill and Fire Investigator Chris Boyd of the Vermont State Police, the cause of the fire is still being looked into.

The Bennington Rural Fire Department responded to the fire at 6:45 a.m., but the powerful blaze that consumed the building ultimately required 100 firefighters from multiple departments working throughout much of the day to be brought under control. In addition to the flames, firefighters had to deal with extremely cold temperatures.

While the store has other locations in New York, this one was famous for its "Big Chair," a 19-foot ladderback chair that been a local landmark for 40 years, back when the store was a Haynes and Kane. The chair was down for 12 years because it rotted, but LaFlammes owner Chris LaFlamme had a new one built and installed in front of the Bennington store, located at 50 Harwood Hill Road.

-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.