Smitty's Building Supply Inc. filed today for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The housing industry's slump forced the action, a company announcement quoted Smitty's CEO Rick Smith as saying.

Smith said in a letter to employees that business "will continue as normal." He noted that Bank of America has provided the company with a $10.5 million line of credit, including $3.75 million in post-filing debtor-in-possession financing.

Now nearing its 34th anniversary, Smitty's is based just outside Washington in Alexandria, Va., with a branch in Manassas, Va., and window showrooms in Chantilly, McLean, and Falls Church, Va., as well as Rockville, Md. It ranked No. 57 on the 2008 ProSales 100, with $91.5 million in sales in 2007, virtually all of them to professional builders and remodelers.

ProSales featured Smitty's in a cover story in Feburary 2007. In that story, Smitty's described how it rode the rocket-like growth of home construction in Washington's western suburbs and how it revamped its original Alexandria yard to serve urban infill projects.

In related news, Speedgoat Bicycles, an Internet bicycle retailer, announced recently that Smitty's former chief operating officer, Don Bolt, had become Speedgoat's COO. Bolt left Smitty's last April after his two-year contract expired, a Smitty's spokesperson said.