Suspicious blaze damages Everett flower shop; a second fire investigated

EVERETT — A family-owned flower shop was heavily damaged Saturday morning by a fast-moving fire that likely was the work of an arsonist.

Detectives are calling a destructive blaze at Everett Floral suspicious. Investigators believe a dumpster fire two blocks away from the florist also likely

was intentionally set. No one has been arrested in connection with the fires.

Ernie and Cindy Frederickson got a call early Saturday morning that the business they’ve owned for 23 years was on fire.

Flames were shooting some 40 feet in the air. The fire ate through the back of the shop. The heat was so intense it blew out the windows of a delivery van.

“It’s such a violation. Life is just not going to be the same. That’s how we make a living. We’ve raised a family with that store,” Cindy Frederickson said Saturday afternoon.

The first reports came in to emergency dispatchers about 3:44 a.m. A passerby reported seeing large flames and heavy smoke pouring from the back of business, located in the 4500 block of Evergreen Way.

Police officers arrived first and confirmed that the rear of the building was engulfed in flames, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze. A second fire was discovered about 4 a.m. in a dumpster two blocks away near a bicycle shop. That fire was smoldering. Crews contained the damage to the dumpster.

No one was injured, including Elvis, a big black cat who lives at the floral shop. He’d been let out Friday evening and wasn’t inside when the fire started.

Police shut down Evergreen Way for a couple of hours during their early morning investigation. Two Everett police dogs searched the area but were unable to locate a suspect.

Both fires are being investigated as possible arsons, Goetz said.

One of the delivery vans was tagged with graffiti sometime during the night. A witness reported seeing a group of juveniles in the area that evening.

No damage estimate was provided Saturday.

The Fredericksons have insurance but there’s no way to tell what kind of effect this could have on the future of their business. They, like many small business owners, have been working hard to survive the recession.

“We work very hard to do the best we can and to have someone come and punch you when you’re already being frugal is really tough,” Cindy Frederickson said.

She has worked at the floral shop since 1979 when the business was owned by someone else. She and her husband bought the floral shop in the late 1980s and have been delivering flowers throughout Snohomish County ever since.

Their flowers have been part of thousands of special occasions. Their customers have been loyal, Frederickson said.

“We have people come in and ask us to do their wedding because we did their parents’ wedding,” she said.

Frederickson was grateful that they didn’t have any wedding flowers waiting to be delivered this weekend.

“That would have been catastrophic,” she said.

Remarkably, they were able to salvage some arrangements stored in a walk-in cooler.

Shawnna Loomis, one of five employees, delivered flowers to a funeral and three other customers.

Cindy Frederickson says she’ll still plans to make the flower arrangements for her son’s wedding later this month. Some of the items she’s been collecting to use in the arrangements were destroyed by the fire.

“I don’t know where we’ll do it but we’ll make it happen,” she said.

The Fredericksons expected to spend the rest of the weekend reaching out to their customers. It’s just too early to tell when they’ll be able to reopen.

“I know the community will support us like we have supported them,” she said.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

Police seek tips on fire

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to call the Everett police department’s tip line at 425-257-8450.

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