Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grace Cleaners Fire





















UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2009

FOR ALL THOSE WHO LOST LOVED ONES (MY LUCKY BOXERS) IN THE TRAGIC FIRE AND HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO REACH A SATISFACTORY RESOLUTION, GRACE CLEANERS HAS REOPENED. YOU CAN NOW SPEAK TO THEM IN PERSON.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO POST COMMENTS.



IMPORTANT UPDATE: APRIL 14TH, 2009
Insurance information posted on plywood outside Grace Cleaners instructing customers to contact Kevin via Fax at 718-279-1580


IMPORTANT UPDATE: MARCH 30TH, 2009

A very helpful reader has taken the time to get a copy of the official NYC Fire Department Incident Report describing the fire at Grace Cleaners. If you would like a
PDF copy of this report for insurance purposes please Email me at:
Imby (at) nyc (dot) rr (dot) com and I will send it out asap.







































Grace Cleaners was completely destroyed by fire today. The apartments directly above the 511 9th Street dry cleaner had their windows broken out. They were in the process of boarding them up when these photos were taken around 2 pm. There are a couple of fire blackened metal stacks in the side alley behind the store leading to the roof. The blackest, most burnt out part of the cleaners is in the rear near where these stacks are located.
Life Imitating Art
In a surreal coincidence, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" a live action kids pic, is being filmed all along that same corner of 8th Ave and 9th St. The Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer produced remake stars Nicolas Cage and has a scheduled July 2010 release date.

41 comments:

Paul S. said...

I live right on 7th st and I tried to take my laundry to Grace Cleaners today without having heard bout this fire.. I was so surprised to see it all boarded up. my heart goes out to them ... and all the people who had expensive clothes in there. Does anyone know if the owners & employees are okay or if someone was hurt?

Anonymous said...

No one was hurt thankfully

Anonymous said...

What a drag for the occupants of 511. They were old-school holdouts in two of the last rent regulated apartments in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Not to be totally insensitive, I really liked the owners of Grace and feel awful for them, but is there anything I can do if I had a suit there? Any way to check if anything survived?

Joel Z said...

@2:57 PM

I'm in the same boat, I feel awful, and am glad that everyone got out ok, but I really need to figure out how to get in touch for insurance purposes

Anonymous said...

I just found this out while I went to deliver my laundry. that's horrible!!!
Please post any info you may have re: insurance purposes. I had quite a few items there

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, their corporate registration does not provide a registered agent or address other than 511 9st. There is another Grace Cleaners registered with the NY Secretary of State on 11th ave in Brooklyn but the phone just rings. We lost 13 dry cleaning pieces and our friend lost all of her pound laundry. Assuming grace carries the proper insurance and we can determine the carrier, we will be reimbursed for our loss but it will most likely be a while.

Anonymous said...

I had a bunch of stuff in there and, although I feel bad for their loss, they need to step up and let their customers know what they're doing to figure out what was in there when it went up. They are not required to have insurance, so don't count on them seeking you out.

crankygirl said...

I'm in the "lost 20 lbs of laundry" boat also. I'm hoping that my renter's insurance covers my things.

Anonymous said...

This morning I went by to see if they had done the honorable thing and posted a note, etc. to explain the process customers can expect. Nada.
I dropped stuff off at 6PM on Monday evening, so there's a chance my stuff never got back to the store before the fire. The owners need to step up and try to help their customers out. The time for sympathy is over. No one was injured.

Anonymous said...

I believe they did the laundry downstairs so you might not be so lucky....I think they have more important issues on their mind right now than the few shirts and trousers of customers. All in good time; give them some time to get their life back on track man!!

Anonymous said...

Only their asset is family labors, which means very little at this time. I know few owners of dry cleaners, but none of them has any insurance. Simply because they can't afford. So, go out and buy a new pair of undies. It's a lot shot you get any money. Ironic things like this happens to honest hard working people. I would be very surprised if they re-open.

Jeni said...

I live in the building at 511. My apartment survived. If you had laundry at Grace, it is gone. The whole place was black. The fire damage was extensive within the cleaners. I feel terrible for the family. The look on the the faces of the family who ran the business was one of pure devastation. No doubt they will post a note about all of your clothing, but please be patient with them. They didn't start the fire. It's not their fault! Also, I'm desperately trying to get in touch with them to offer any help I can. Does anyone have any idea to their contact information?

Anonymous said...

The back of my ticket says that they're liable for 10x the amount of the cleaning bill for items lost. Therefore, if you had a bill of $20, you have a $200 claim against the owners.

I had $1000 worth of clothes in there. I feel bad for them, but there were no injuries or loss of life. They need to do the right thing for the people that provided them with a living all these years. I'm appalled at the lack of any attempt to contact customers. Were they to re-open someday, I would never, ever patronize their establishment.

Anonymous said...

...and with all due respect, no one knows who is at fault, so don't blindly exonerate everyone associated with the business. They are nice people, but I lost my entire work wardrobe. They should be working their tails off to get in touch with customers. Incredibly irresponsible on their part.

Anonymous said...

I had a bunch of laundry there as well. I spoke to my insurance agent who said I could file a claim, they would reimburse me for the loss, and then attempt to get the amount from Grace's insurance (including my deductible). The adjuster said they'd need a Fire Department Case Number but when I called the Brooklyn FD, they said they don't have Case Numbers, but I could come down and get a copy of the incident report (which may have all the info I need for a claim). If anyone can post a Case Number or a copy of the incident report, that would help tremendously.

IMBY said...

I'm guessing this is the 11th Street Station House? The one on Fourth Avenue?
If anyone gets a copy of the report, they can scan it and email me a copy and I will post it here as a Jpeg or down loadable PDF. Does anyone know the management company or landlord for the building? They certainly will have a contact number for the owners of Grace. I will check tomorrow if I have time. I will update this post with any new info.

Remember patience is by definition the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset.

Imby(at)nyc(dot)rr(dot)com

IMBY said...

From a recently received email...

"I recently posted to the thread about the fire at Grace Cleaners in Park Slope . My insurance requested the Fire Department Report in order to process my claim, so I went down to the Fire Department (9 Metrotech Center) and got it. I figured I'd save the rest of us the trouble, so here's a scan of the report for you to post. My heart goes out to the folks at Grace, but hopefully they have insurance to cover exactly this sort of thing. I guess we'll find out."

Regards, DK

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COPY OF THIS REPORT PLEASE EMAIL ME AT:

IMBY (at) nyc (dot) rr (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Dry Cleaner Owner: Hwang Suknam
Building Onwer: Leon Goldstein--Four G Realty
Owner Rep: Cathy Staiano
Boarding Company: Cipco Boarding
800-427-8315

Anonymous said...

Claims Adjustor:
Montrose Adjustment Co.
718-591-7900

I'm not sure if this is for the building or the business.

Anonymous said...

I called the 800 and 718 number listed in earlier posts to find out how to help the family / business, but no luck. Does anyone have further info?

Anonymous said...

I am thankful that no one was killed or injured and my heart goes out to the owners who were always nice.

I had over $2,000 worth of dress pants and shirts that I lost. We filed a claim last night under our renter's insurance policy and hopefully they will cover it. One of our concerns we have is we always did a pickup/delivery, so we never had a receipt for the clothes they had. I will post an update after I am done dealing with my insurance company.

Does anyone have a recommendation for other cleaners who do both dry cleaning and pound laundry and have pickup/delivery service in the area? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any idea if these guys had insurance? If not, any idea how to enforce the 10x the amount of the cleaning on the owners? I'm very angry the owners have made no attempt to contact their customers. They've had more than a week to get their act together.

Anonymous said...

My sympathy for the owners of Grace Cleaners has now turned into anger and astonishment. These folks handed out hundreds of tickets per day that state they will reimburse cumstomers 10x the amount of the cleaning bill should items be lost or damaged. These folks are criminals.

Anonymous said...

I think before you start calling people criminals you should give them a month to react to everything going on in their life which I hate to break it to you is a LOT more than $2,000 dollars worth of clothes lost. Yes, they are a business. Yes, they said they would reimburse for 10x the value of items loss. Yes, I lost over $2,000 dollars worth of work clothes there as well. But seriously, have a little patience. To think that something like this would be resolved in a few months let alone weeks is absurd. PS it could be WAY worse. Be thankful your business and livelihood didn't burn down.

Anonymous said...

Put yourself in their position. You have to deal with lanlord and tenants upstaires. You also have to deal with mortgage on your house without any income. All you have is liabilities. You have to be most optimistic person or delussional ones to believe that they will hand out checks to hundreds of people. Life is unfair for everyone, move on.

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is post a sign or something. COMMUNICATE W/ YOUR CUSTOMERS FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!

Anonymous said...

You have better odds of getting extended warranty service on your computer at CompUSA. Folks, grace is no long in business. Posting a sign outside? So that you can take the picture and take it to the court? What sign would you put? "Thanks for your previous patrionage. Unfortunately, we can no longer service due to freak accident. If you lost anything file the complain to the consumer affair although we're not gonna do anything about it"? Whatever sign they put outside will make people more angry, believe me. People will make false claims if process is so easy, bleive me.... I've seen it. If it makes you feel any better what I understand is they owned another cleaner within walking distance many years ago.

Anonymous said...

I read posts above and I am surprised no one mentioned anything about their another store owned by same owner on 8th Ave., not that it directly matters. I won't mention it's name because I am not sure if they still own it. I guess it wouldn't hurt to, at least, ask if they have anything left.

Anonymous said...

Is it the one on 8th between 10th and 11th?

Anonymous said...

Check out the posting on the boarded up outside of what's left of Grace Cleaners:

Send info via fax to Kevin at 718-279-1580. This is cornerstone insurance company. Hallelujah.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to share this info. On Friday April 10th there was a sign posted on the gate in front of Grace Cleaners (which was not there today 4/13) that they regret that they will not be re-opening but if you lost merchandise you can fax your receipts(if you did not have a receipt, a detailed description of what you lost)include your contact information, to Kevin @ 1.718.279.1580. Hopefully we will get reimbursed. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I received additional information today regarding the insurance I wanted to share with everyone. The actual insurance policy is:

Utica First Insurance Company
PO Box 851
Utica, NY 13503
Claim # 59619
Policy # BOP1361739
(315)736-8211
Contact person: Jason Englehart extension 3215

I spoke with Jason today and he confirmed that his insurance company did have the policy for Grace Cleaners. He also confirmed that Kevin at Cornerstone Insurance was the point person in terms of sending information regarding the claim, so everyone should be faxing their information to Kevin.

The bad news is that Grace Cleaners had an insurance policy of $10,000 per incident. That means, everyone is going to only be getting pennies on the dollar. If you had $1,000 worth of clothes, and the total amount of claims are $200,000, you will only get $50. It's a very small amount of insurance to say the least.

Also, I was told that the process will take more than a month, so everyone is going to need to stay patient. I know our renters insurance will be covering the difference between our claim and the amount Utica First is covering, minus our deductible. I hope that everyone else has renters/homeowners insurance and they are doing the same for them. Good luck everyone.

IMBY said...

Thanks to everyone who posted information.

Anonymous said...

Anyone on this thread NOT have a receipt? When they "pick up" laundry they do not give a receipt and I'm not sure how many pounds, etc. Let me know if you're in the same predicament.

Thank you DK for keeping everyone updated. Hope the the Grace owners are OK!

Anonymous said...

Doubt anyone follows this anymore (and I had to search to find it myself), but we got a call a short time ago from someone saying it was Grace Cleaners and that they had found one of our bags of laundry, had cleaned it twice and would be dropping it off tomorrow.

Part of me is excited that maybe a few items of clothes that were impossible to replace were salvaged, however, I am very, very leary that the clothes are truly fine after all this time. I can't imagine how the clothes were not wet from the fire department putting out the fire and the resulting mold/smell.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are getting some of your clothes back. Has anyone else received a call from Grace or Cornerstone Insurance? We have not and have left messages with Cornerstone.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if anyone still reads this, but has anyone else received their clothing or reimbursement? I have spoken with Kevin at Cornerstone and was told Grace received the insurance payment. In turn they were suuposed to reimburse the customers.

IMBY said...

NOT SURE IF EVERYONE KNOWS THIS YET BUT GRACE CLEANERS HAS REOPENED.

elanatheone said...

DO NOT USE GRACE CLEANERS!

THEY LOST MY JACKET! RUDE SERVICE! TERRIBLE COMPANY!


Let's get right to the point. Grace cleaners has a pick-up and drop-off service for wash-dry laundry. Unfortunately, when they dropped off my laundry it was MISSING MY JACKET WHICH COST OVER HALF THE PRICE of total for cleaning all my clothes! I called them to let them know my jacket was missing, and the lady HAD THE AUDACITY TO TELL ME THAT I SHOULD NOT HAVE GIVEN THEM THE JACKET ANYWAY BECAUSE IT PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DRY CLEANED. WHAT!!? THEN SHE TOLD ME SHE COULDN'T TALK ABOUT IT ANYMORE AND BEGAN TALKING TO SOMEONE ELSE IN THE STORE WHILE I WAS MID-SENTENCE ON THE PHONE. I was shocked and appalled. I have never had that happen before, anywhere. On top of that, they did not do a good job washing the clothing that they did return. Why bother using a company that LOSES YOUR CLOTHING and then tries to blame it on you with weird excuses and terrible customer service. My new goal in life is to make sure the world knows that GRACE CLEANERS IS HORRENDOUS and that they LOSE YOUR CLOTHING AND TRY TO BLAME YOU!

Belfor said...

No one was hurt thank goodness I feel so bad for those people. Any time something like that happens it's hard not to imagine yourself in their shoes and feel for them.