Showing posts with label Essex Card Shop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Essex Card Shop. Show all posts

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Officials: Police arrest teen accused of starting fire that destroyed the Essex Card Shop

A teen has been arrested in connection to the fire that destroyed Essex Card Shop at 47 Avenue A on Jan. 10

An FDNY official confirmed the arrest (as well as age and gender) to EVG contributor Stacie Joy. We're told the charges include second-degree arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief for the 13-year-old, whose name was not released due to his age. 

Officials and other sources said that the teen was seen leaving the shop minutes before management smelled smoke. Investigators were able to pull photos/videos from the store surveillance camera. 

The fire destroyed Essex Card Shop, which moved here between Third Street and Fourth Street in June 2020 after 20 years on a storefront one block to the south. 

Owner Muhammad Aslam has said he will reopen the business, which has collected more than $65,000 in a crowdfunding effort to help pay for expenses and lost income. 

The fire also temporarily shuttered Downtown Yarns next door.

As previously noted, the stout cement ceiling and brick walls in the storefronts of the 13-floor Ageloff Towers served as a firebreak and prevented further damage to the building and adjacent businesses.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Exit9 reopens on Avenue A after fire next door

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Exit9 Gift Emporium reopened yesterday — just two days after the two-alarm fire destroyed neighboring business Essex Card Shop late Monday afternoon here on Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the shop yesterday, where she found a thankful co-owner Charles Branstool in the retail space in the base of the 13-floor Ageloff Towers... 
"I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to have been spared such an unthinkable tragedy. It was difficult to comprehend the surreal events as they unfolded....watching Exit9 remain virtually untouched while witnessing the destruction of my neighbor's family business," he said. "Thanks to the solid construction of the Ageloff Towers, the fire could not spread so easily. The outpouring of love and support from this community has been both humbling and heartwarming." 

However pleased Branstool was to be back open, his thoughts remained with his neighbor to the south. Essex Card Shop relocated next door at 47 Avenue A in June 2020. However, like Exit9, the Card Shop has been an Avenue A mainstay for more than 20 years.

"Let's not forget the real tragedy here is the loss of Essex Card Shop. My heart goes out to Muhammed and Jay and their family. I can't imagine what trauma they must be experiencing at this moment," Branstool said. "If there's one thing this community has taught me is that we know how to be resilient. Let's help them rebuild." (He then mentioned their GoFundMe effort. "Every little bit helps during times like this.") 

Given the dramatic photos at the scene on Monday, it's incredible that Exit9 remained intact, free of any water damage. A faint odor of smoke hung in the air. (There's an air purifier running in the shop.) A fire official told Stacie that the solid cement ceiling and brick walls in the storefronts served as a firebreak and prevented further damage to the building. 

"As for Exit9, she is a survivor. We just needed one day to rest and freshen up. We've cleaned up our floors and shelves, and a HEPA air filter is scrubbing the air," he said. "New Valentine's Day windows have already been installed. A fluffy feather baby cradled in a giant white heart, so things are already looking up for us."
Exit9, now in its 27th year, is at 51 Avenue A. Store hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with Sunday hours of noon to 6 p.m.
For further reading on EVG

Downtown Yarns hopes to reopen in a week

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Late Monday afternoon, Leti Ruiz stood on the east side of Avenue A below Third Street, anxiously watching the FDNY battle the two-alarm blaze that started inside Essex Card Shop across the street.

Downtown Yarns, housed in a sliver of a storefront, is next door to the south of the Card Shop, where thick smoke was billowing skyward. 

She thought that the fire would destroy the homey shop she's owned for three-plus years

Miraculously, Downtown Yarns — like Exit9, the Card Shop's neighbor to the north — escaped any significant damage. As previously noted, the stout cement ceiling and brick walls in the storefronts of the 13-floor Ageloff Towers served as a firebreak and prevented further damage to the building and adjacent businesses.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by yesterday as a rep from Servpro, which provides fire and water cleanup, finished his space assessment. Thankfully, there wasn't any harm caused by water.
He said that it would take about a week to thoroughly remove the smoke odor so Ruiz could reopen. Right now, Ruiz is using Febreeze, which she doesn't like, baking soda, and the industrial air scrubbers that the building has supplied.
Ruiz is grateful for the outpouring of support, including homemade signs of encouragement that students at the Neighborhood School around the corner placed on her storefront. 

In a further show of support, she noted that "so many people stopped by offering to buy the stinky yarn, but I don't want to sell smelly yarn to them."
You can follow Downtown Yarns on Instagram here for reopening information.

Assessing the fire damage at Essex Card Shop

Photos by Stacie Joy

A fire destroyed the Essex Card Shop at 47 Avenue A late Monday afternoon. Thankfully there weren't any injuries.

And we're starting to get an idea how badly the fire damaged the storefront here between Third Street and Fourth Street.

FDNY officials returned to inspect the space yesterday. EVG contributor Stacie Joy was also there...
Owner Muhammad Aslam and his oldest daughter Mehnaz Noreen, the shop's retail sales manager, were on hand.

The two are awaiting the fire marshal's report to submit to the insurance company to begin the process of reopening. (Longtime manager Jayant "Jay" Patel previously said that he smelled smoke coming from the bathroom in the rear of the store and immediately called the FDNY.) 

The father and daughter wished to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support from the community. (The GoFundMe launched Monday night has exceeded $50,000 to help the family pay for additional expenses and lost income.)

They were particularly heartened by the handmade signs that students from room 205 at the Neighborhood School left for them on the storefront's rolldown gate...
Aslam then inspected the remains of the shop, which opened here in June 2020 after more than 20 years at 39 Avenue A.
A few items, such as a ledger, somehow survived the fire...
And in case you were wondering about the ATM here... a technician arrived to remove the cash...
While Stacie was there, multiple residents stopped by to wish Aslam and his family well ... including the owners of the adjacent businesses, Leti Ruiz of Downtown Yarns and Charles Branstool of Exit9...
We'll keep you posted as Essex Card Shop starts the challenging reopening process. You'll likely see Aslam around. He told Stacie that he "doesn't wish to stay at home."
For further reading on EVG

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday's parting shot

A message of support on the burned-out Essex Card Shop gate at 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street. (Read our fire coverage here and here.) 

The note is for the shop's longtime manager, Jayant "Jay" Patel ... seen below in this photo by Stacie Joy from June 2020 when the business relocated here from 39 Avenue A. 

Jay and everyone at the shop are fine. The storefront has been destroyed, though. The fundraiser to help to rebuild and cover expenses is here.

Information about a crowdfunding campaign to help the fire-damaged Essex Card Shop

Photo by Steven 

A two-alarm fire destroyed the Essex Card Shop late yesterday afternoon at 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street. (The cause is under investigation.) 

Saba Aslam, the daughter of owner Muhammad Aslam, launched a crowdfunding campaign for the family-owned business. (Her uncle Jay Patel is the manager and her sister Mehnaz Noreen is retail sales manager.) 

Per the campaign:
This fundraiser can really help this small business pick themselves up again and recover from this. Every single corner of this store is burned, damaged, and destroyed. I am 27 years old now, and I have seen this store as a part of my family ever since I was a little girl. Let us all please come together as a loving community, and help this small business rise from its ashes!
Find the campaign here

Here's a look inside the storefront last night before workers board it up... photos by Stacie Joy...

Monday, January 10, 2022

Scenes from the fire today at 47 Avenue A

More than 100 members of the FDNY responded late this afternoon to a two-alarm fire at the Essex Card Shop at 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street. 

The FDNY had the fire under control in less than an hour. Two firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Thankfully, there weren't any other injuries reported. 

The popular Card Shop, which relocated here in June 2020 from a block to the south, was destroyed. Next-door neighbor Exit9 received some smoke and water damage but remains structurally intact. (Read our previous post for more details.) 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

EVG contirbutor Stacie Joy was quickly on the scene after the fire was reported around 4:45 and shared these photos...
As you can see, the Card Shop is in ruins...
 

Saba Aslam, the daughter of owner Muhammad Aslam at Essex Card Shop, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help rebuild the business. Find the link here.

[Updated] Fire destroys Essex Card Shop on Avenue A

Updated: Saba Aslam, the daughter of owner Muhammad Aslam at Essex Card Shop, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help rebuild the business. Find the link here.

The FDNY is responding to a two-alarm fire that started inside the Essex Card Shop shortly after 4:30 p.m. at 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street.

It was a frightening scene as thick black smoke hugged the east-facing wall of the Ageloff Towers.

The early word is that the shop has been destroyed.
No word just yet to damage other businesses here or the apartments above in the Ageloff Towers.
Shot this video clip at 4:52 p.m.


We'll continue to update...

Updated 6:45 p.m. (photo below by Steven)
Everyone is reported to be safe. EVG contributor Stacie Joy spoke with Muhammed and Jayant at the Essex Card Shop. Unfortunately, the shop is in ruins. Jayant said that he smelled smoke coming from the bathroom in the rear of the store and immediately called the FDNY. Both of them said they were grateful that no one was hurt.

In addition, they both said that they would come back from this.

Next door at 51 Avenue A, everyone is safe at Exit9, which sustained minor water and smoke damage. Downtown Yarns appears to be OK as well.

A fire official told Stacie that the cement ceiling and brick walls in the storefronts served as a firebreak and prevented further damage to the building.

We've heard reports of residents who had to evacuate the 13-floor Ageloff Towers above the shops. The resident reports say that this was done safely, and there weren't any reports of injuries. No word on damage to the residential units above the shops. 

EVG reader Eric FG shared this photo of Jayant shortly after the report of the fire...

Saturday, October 9, 2021

An open door at the former Essex Card Shop on Avenue A

Several readers pointed out that something (or something?) pushed in the front door at the former Essex Card Shop at 39 Avenue A between Second Street and Third Street... offering access — as of this morning — inside the very empty city-owned storefront...
The card shop moved to 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street in June 2020. And whatever happened to their great old sign?

Sunday, March 21, 2021

So long to the Essex Card Shop signage on Avenue A; Pac Lab on 1st Street

Back on Thursday, a reader shared the above photo... showing workers removing the old Essex Card Shop signage from its former storefront on Avenue A between Second Street and Third Street. 

And here's how the storefront at the city-owned No. 39 looks now...
Essex Card Shop moved one block to the north to 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street last June. A shop regular says that the owners were keeping the sign, but it wasn't going to fit above the new location. 

In other old signage news... the old Pac Lab signage was removed last week from 37 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue...
Per the Anthology Film Archives: "Pac Lab was a true NYC staple, as well as the last local resource we had for same-day processing of Super-8mm and 16mm film. Over the years Pac Lab proved itself to be a company that possessed as much character and quirkiness as its clients." 

Pac Lab closed at some point in 2014 or 2015.