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Everett Floral can start work to rebuild after arson

But now that work has started, the owners are less certain they can resume business in time for Valentine's Day.

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By Kurt Batdorf
Special to The Herald
Published:
  • Everett Floral owners Cindy and Ernie Frederickson have the building permits they need to rebuild their shop after an arson, but they don't think they...

    Annie Mulligan / For The Herald

    Everett Floral owners Cindy and Ernie Frederickson have the building permits they need to rebuild their shop after an arson, but they don't think they'll be open in time for Valentine's Day as hoped.

EVERETT -- The owners of Everett Floral, who saw their business severely damaged by arson Aug. 6, have now received the necessary permits from the city to restore their business.
That's the good news.
The bad news is they don't expect to be back in business by Valentine's Day, which normally accounts for about a third of their annual income.
Owners Cindy and Ernie Frederickson said they received their building permit earlier this month after working with the city for summer and early fall.
Everett building official Tony Lee and his colleagues in the building department took the Fredericksons' worries seriously.
"I can assure all involved that we will try to accommodate the shop proprietors in meeting their construction goals in any way that we can," he said.
"They really are working with us," Ernie Frederickson said of city staff.
Contractors were scheduled to start gutting the building's interior on Monday, taking it down to the concrete block walls, Cindy Frederickson said.
It was while planning that work that the realization hit.
"We think it'll take four months, so we're losing Valentine's Day," she said.
But with a building permit in hand and the contractor ready to start work, Cindy Frederickson was philosophical about missing their busiest time of the year in 2012.
"I'm hopeful," she said. "This is the best news we've had in three months. We try to stay positive and move forward. We have what we need."
The Fredericksons were well insured against any loss of income and the expense of bringing the old cinder-block building up to code. So were their employees' wages.
"That's rare in this day and age," Cindy Frederickson said.
Now the Fredericksons can focus on rebuilding and reopening Everett Floral without the pressure of preparing for their busiest season while being "totally displaced."
"We're pretty grateful that we'll be back," Cindy Frederickson said. "We'll try to stay visible and let people know our progress. Shooting in the dark was probably not a good way to go into the holiday. We can't afford to do it wrong."
The fire, which was set in an attached 1,000-square-foot storage building, quickly burned through the overhead power line. Without electricity, the alarm system never triggered an automatic call to 911, Ernie Frederickson said, showing the exterior damage at the back of the building.
The Fredericksons estimate their losses to the building and business at $500,000. A 15-year-old suspect was recently sentenced in court in connection with the fire.
It caused enough damage to require bringing the building up to code. Among other things, the Fredericksons will have to move the electrical service to the front of the building and rewire it, in addition to gutting the interior of the main building to repair the fire, smoke and water damage.

Kurt Batdorf is editor of the Snohomish County Business Journal: 425-339-3102; kbatdorf@scbj.com.

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