Sozio’s Goes Up in Flames

Sozio’s Appliances on Squire Road has been a landmark for decades, and on Saturday, a five-alarm fire destroyed the Squire Road establishment.  Chuck Sozio, owner of the store, said that he will rebuild.

Sozio’s appliance at 61 Squire Road is shown engulfed in flames,as a mixture of smoke and water from firefighters on the scene fills the air around the blaze.

Firefighters were called to 61 Squire Road at 4:17 p.m. Saturday for a blaze that consumed the showroom full of 1950s vintage furniture and appliances. Several 1950s cars stored there were also damaged.

“I left here to go to the store, and minutes later, I got a call from my wife saying the place was on fire,” Sozio said, adding that he believes “the fire started in a cardboard box with some papers.”

When firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke and the right side of the building on fire, according to Capt. Tom Todisco.

“It was small (the fire) then it turned into the entire building,” Christian Sozio said. “It doesn’t make sense that it spread so fast.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined, both state fire marshals and local investigators have been on the scene. Jennifer Meith, of the state Department of Fire Services, said damages are between $4-$5 million. Explosions heard during the fire are suspected to have come from appliances inside the store.

Todisco noted that Tuesday investigators were still processing the scene that is heavily filled with all sorts of furniture, appliances and building materials.

Smoke continued to rise from several hot spots on Sunday and Monday and firefighters were on standby to extinguish them.

Sozio’s was not only known for appliances, but it was known for appliances and furniture that could take you back to the 1950’s with vintage kitchen sets.

“It’s a mark of Revere that you just drive by and it’s gone now, said Amanda Pezzi, of Revere.

“For 70 years I have been in business around here,” Chuck Sozio said as he looked toward his showroom Monday afternoon.

He and his son, Christian, were busy with customers. Christian Sozio, who goes to school in Rhode Island said he immediately drove to Revere Saturday.

“I could see the smoke from Logan Airport,” he said. “It’s been a challenge to compete against the big box stores.”

Since 1949 Sozio’s Home Furnishings and Appliances has been supplying the area with stores in Revere, Cambridge, Boston and Danvers. Sozio’s was noted for its “Fabulous Fifties Casual Dining. The Revere location was the oldest and most well known location.

Chuck Sozio became a Frigidaire dealer in 1951 and he’s been selling major appliances at the Squire Road location ever since. Many sales were local orders but the appeal also reached to Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Chuck Sozio said it was a look that never got old, but they also sold new appliances too.

“There are a lot of memories,” Chuck Sozio said. The front part of the store had been a chicken coop that Chuck Sozio purchased in 1955. It was converted to a showroom. Soon afterwards he purchased an aircraft hanger in 1958 from the Revere Airport.

“A lot of people in this area have memories of the 1950s, like Revere Beach,” he said.

Chuck Sozio said they are still doing business in Revere since the warehouse, delivery trucks and another building were not compromised. People with orders should contact the store.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries, said Revere Fire Chief Chris Bright.

During the blaze members of Revere Engine 3 put out a “May Day” call after becoming disoriented in the building and running low on air, according to Todisco.

“We have a rapid intervention team at the ready, they entered the building, found the firefighters and escorted them out,” Todisco said.

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