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Kindel's granddaughter shares memories | News

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Kindel's granddaughter shares memories

ADA, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man who built the Kindel Furniture Factory in Grand Rapids -- the site of Monday's fire -- died in 1962. But his descendants still live in the area, and one of his grandchildren was part of the crowd watching the building burn.

Celia Said says the fire here at her grandfather's factory ends a chapter in her family's history.

"I was actually in Cascade on my way to East Hills when I saw the smoke," says Said.

Said says she did not know at first that her grandfather's 99-year-old factory was the building on fire. "Block after block, I kept going...and then I thought, 'Gee, it's down there. That's were Kindel is.' And then I saw it was on fire. I guess I was partly in shock."

Said joined the crowd of onlookers watching the fire burn the Kindel factory. She says she remembered the times she had been inside as a girl.

"They used to put vanilla in drawers so when you pulled out drawers it smelled like vanilla," she says.

Said's Ada home has many pieces of Kindel Furniture made to her grandfather's specifications. "They have quality and dedication to excellence you don't always find."

Said has many photos of her grandfather's company -- both before and after Charles Kindel moved the business from St. Louis to Grand Rapids in 1912.

"It was a privilege to know him," she says. "He was a character. My aunt used to say he was a genius."

Said believes the factory held a lot of sentimental value.

We'd drive by it from time when we were little," she says. "We saw the smokestack that said 'Kindel' on it and we thought of grandpa.

"There are chapters in life, and that's the end of that chapter. It's sad."