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Fire Totals Garland Supply Warehouse

Laundry and drycleaning products supplier deciding how to go forward: rebuild or buy

HIALEAH, Fla. — A Nov. 9 fire destroyed the local warehouse of the Garland Supply Company, reports Tim Burke, editor of sister publication American Drycleaner. The company sells supplies for both the drycleaning industry and the laundry industry.

“Everyone was safe, luckily, because the fire occurred in the middle of the night,” says Jeff Zaitz, one of the owners, along with his father Irwin, of Garland Supply.

“It was actually the second fire,” he points out, indicating there had been another fire a couple days earlier.

Cause of the initial fire “was undetermined,” Zaitz says, but the fire marshal thought it might have started in a trash bin. “That fire destroyed about 15% of the warehouse so we started cleaning and discarding things.”

His business was in the process of cleaning up from that first blaze when, he says, “Thirty-six hours later, it rekindled again during the middle of the night and burned the whole warehouse down.”

What are your plans going forward?

“We already rented a warehouse down the street and have all our vendors sending us emergency supplies,” Zaitz says. “The outpouring of support from our vendors, customers, and even competitors, to help us out in our time of need, has been overwhelming,” he adds.

“My father started the business close to 50 years ago, and I’ve been involved in the business about 25 years. We were in that location that burned down for about 35 years,” Zaitz says.

“Ironically, the first warehouse we had in Miami burned down close to 40 years ago, in the McDuffie riots,” he relates, referring to the Arthur McDuffie riots in Miami in 1980.

He says: “Our vendors have worked around the clock getting stuff to us as rapidly as possible. Times like these, you really see who your true friends are.”

Zaitz notes that his company plans to “Stay in this warehouse temporarily while we decide whether to rebuild the warehouse on the land we own, or buy something.”