THE BLACKOUT: Counting Losses in the Rubble

A week after looters wrecked the R & M furniture store on East Tremont Avenue in the South Bronx, Co-Owners Irving Wiener and Richard Margolin stood in their showroom—empty except for four Day-Glo orange overstuffed chairs—and wondered if they could reopen. They had lost $100,000 worth of merchandise during the blackout and had not yet learned whether their personal disaster was covered by insurance. Explained Wiener bitterly: "Our policy covers damage by riots, but the mayor hasn't declared this a riot." Down the street, Polish-born Harry Sperber figured that he had to...

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