The shop that has been a part of Everett for more than two decades was closed for almost nine months in order to repair the damage caused by arson Aug. 6.
It has been a long and difficult period for owners Ernie and Cindy Frederickson, and they are grateful for all the help they received. But a lot of bad memories remain with them, especially those of the day they heard the news.
Ernie Frederickson said he knew something was wrong the minute his cellphone rang just after 3 a.m. It was the police calling to tell him his business was on fire.
Fredrickson didn't stop to wake his wife. He dressed hurriedly and was at the shop within the hour. Cindy Frederickson said she awoke at 6 a.m. that day with a distinct feeling that something was wrong. For a start, Ernie wasn't there. When she reached him by phone, he tried to break the news gently by describing the fire as "little," but it wasn't.
The whole back third of the 1,000-square-foot building was gutted. Almost all of the contents, including their inventory, was lost.
The only good news was that Elvis, the shop cat, had escaped the blaze.
"It was just sad and so senseless," Cindy Frederickson said.
Arson was strongly suspected from the start. A Dumpster two blocks away had been torched at about the same time and someone left fresh graffiti at the scene. That gave detectives a good idea of where to begin looking. It wasn't long before they had a suspect in custody.
The person who had taken away the Fredericksons' livelihood and security was a 15-year-old boy who had been in trouble for damaging other properties in the past.
"He had no idea of the consequences and what it meant to others," Cindy Frederickson said.
The couple lost more than income and the ability to serve their customers. Their son was getting married in two weeks and they were supposed to arrange the flowers for his wedding.
At first it looked like the unthinkable would happen and they would have to hire an outside florist to handle an event that was very close to their hearts.
But local businesses stepped in to help. Flowers by Adrian let the Fredericksons make their wedding floral arrangements at their store on Colby Avenue. North Creek Florist and Flowers by Adrian helped handle orders for Everett Floral customers.
Now, the Fredericksons are gearing up for Mother's Day. They've gone from waiting to battle-stations-ready to meet the demand.
The Fredericksons' main concern is making sure customers know that they're open again. They also have the satisfaction of knowing how many people in the community, especially the local business community, care.
Everett Floral and Gift is located at 4522 Evergreen Way, Everett. Go to www.everettfloralandgift.com for more information.
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