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Irr Supply buying competitor

A family-owned regional distributor of plumbing, heating, cooling and refrigeration supplies is buying the assets of a smaller Derby-based competitor, adding four locations and two showrooms.

Irr Supply Centers of North Tonawanda would not say how much it is paying to buy the business of L.A. Hazard & Sons. But Erie County Clerk records of property transactions show it paid $500,000 to buy 5605 Harris Hill Road in Clarence and $825,000 to buy 1695 Overhead Road in the Town of Evans, both from L.A. Hazard or a related entity.

Hazard operates four Western New York locations in Derby, Clarence, Orchard Park and Springville, providing equipment and parts for electrical, plumbing and heating contractors. It also has two Kohler showrooms -- Inspiration Bath Galleries -- in its Clarence and Orchard Park facilities. All Hazard locations will remain open and operating under the Hazard name.

Irr, which is minority owned by its employees, has 28 locations in the Buffalo, Rochester, the Southern Tier and Central New York, as well as in Erie, Pa., with a 120,000 square-foot distribution center in North Tonawanda. It also operates five registered Kohler showrooms in New York under the Visionary Baths & More name.

Founded in 1864 and still owned by the Irr family, the company serves plumbing, heating, air conditioning, mechanical and refrigeration contractors, as well as oil and propane dealers, kitchen and bath retailers, well-drillers, pump installers, water treatment specialists, municipalities, schools, hospitals and industrial plants.

The company has grown both internally and through acquisitions, though its last purchase was more than six years ago, said president Michael P. Duffy.

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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