BY LUIS GRONDA
A fire engulfed a Rego Park florist Sunday evening, leaving much of its indoor property destroyed.
Florist Hills & Garden Center, located at Woodhaven Boulevard and 68th Avenue, caught fire just before midnight on June 29.
According to the FDNY, they responded to the one-alarm fire at 11:10 p.m. that night, putting out the blaze and treating non-life-threatening injuries at the scene.
A day after the fire, the establishment’s owner, Vito Giambrone, was left to pick up the pieces, trying to find out what caused his business to go up in flames.
The family’s attorney, Vincent Ancona, said the business will work its way through this difficult period and rebuild what the fire destroyed.
“It was an accident and it’s a real shame that a family-owned business for the last 15 years has to go through the process of rebuilding all their hard work,” Ancona said.
The florist center will remain open while it goes through the rebuild. It has an outdoor area where they sell flowers and plants. The company has set up a tent outside where customers can pay for their purchases.
A long-time customer, Mark Cavaliere, said he is happy the store will be able to stay open, but they sold a lot of products, like pots, ornaments and gardening equipment, that they may not be able to sell while the indoor section is shut down.
“You have less choices now,” he said.
Ancona described the damage from the fire as “significant” and they expect it will take them six weeks to three months to fully rebuild the store. He added their hours will remain the same and they hope the community will support them through this difficult time.
Ancona said they will update their Facebook page on its progress and their phone line should be working again very soon. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.