Frager's Fire Aftermath
The windows of Frager's Hardware are boarded up with plywood. A fence surrounds the ruined store. Yesterday, a tanker truck sat pumping out water from its basement.
As of today, fire inspectors had not yet released the site to Frager's or to its insurance company. In the absence of a structural engineering study, there are no details on the extent of interior damage, Kristin Sampson, Frager's Public Relations Specialist, stated in an interview today.
Firemen escort Frager's employees in and out of the Garden Center helpfully assisting them loading up garden supplies. Fire reclamation work has not yet begun, stated Sampson.
The cause of the conflagration has not been determined.
Frager's Employees Future
Frager's employs 35 full-time staff. Another 30 are part-timers, stated Gary Peterson of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (CHCF). CHCF has created a fund to aid those impacted by the fire. $15,000 was donated last Sunday at the organization's Eastern Market booth, Peterson stated.
“It was the people at Frager's that gave it its charm, great customer service, and who built the relationships that set our business apart,” Sampson said.
“Everyone is still shaken and grieving. No one wants to leave. Everyone is being stretched to do different things. We are all ready to do what needs to done to get us back home,” Sampson said.
Frager's intends to continue to employ its staff during the rebuilding of the store, she said.
Frager's Hardware is actively searching for locations to temporarily reestablish sections of its business. This past Saturday, the Garden Center successfully resumed operations across from Eastern Market. Sales were brisk. More inventory will be added in the coming weeks.
Frager's Just Ask Rental Store is operating out of a warehouse in an 11th St. SE alley. While much of the inventory was destroyed by the fire, tables, chairs and shelters are available for rent. The phone number remains 202-543-0100.
Frager's accounting department has been temporarily housed in owner John Weintraub's home. The main number, 202-543-6157, is working. Customers can call and arrange payments of their open invoices.
Frager's management is seeking locations for the store's other operations. Discussions with local property owners and the city are ongoing. Inquiries can be made with Juan Wilson at the Frager's main number.