High Heat for 90 Minutes

Firefighters battled a blaze that started mysteriously in a pile of clothing in the laundromat at 132 Montague St. tonight.  The laundromat was closed at the time of the fire, and the clothing, located on a table toward the rear of the building, was likely smoldering for some time before the flames grew and eventually swept across the ceiling.  Stuart Friedman’s optometry business on the floor above was soon affected by the spreading fire, as was an apartment on the second floor.  The residents, as well as a dog on the third floor, escaped without injury.  This marks the third fire on the south side of Montague St., between Henry and Clinton Sts., in the past two years.  The most recent was on September 9, 2008, and before that on March 26, 2007.

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  • my2cents

    Holy crap. That doesn’t look too good!
    Thanks to our local firefighters for keeping us safe! There seem to have been a lot of fires around the nabe lately, but they always do a great job.

  • http://n/a MrMarc

    Wow! Cool pictures! I actually spotted this fire in the laundromat on my way to get something to eat and accosted a poor couple sitting on a nearby stoop to call 911 (I had forgotten my phone at home). I have to say that the FDNY response was VERY fast, but that fire moved really quickly.

  • http://erictabone.com e

    ah crap, we have two bags there right now…

  • cait

    does anyone know anything about all the fire trucks down around 55 pierrepont yesterday evening, or the guy being taken away in an ambulance at henry and montague in the afternoon? yesterday was crazy!

  • weegee

    55 Pierrepont was a smoke condition in the 6th floor…nothing big, didn’t hear what the source was. Henry and Montague was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.

  • AEB

    Sorry to hear about this, and glad no one was hurt.

    Now, I must ask the inevitable question: where else can one bring/do one’s laundry in the nabe? To a laundromat, I mean.

    I’m in the North Heights–nearer is better.

    Thanks, all.

  • Cascas

    Just been in there to try to retrieve my laundry – it’s a big mess, lots of smoke damage and melty plastic. Fortunately for me, the sports bag with my stuff was melted on the outside by the clothes within seem to have survived.

    The owner told me that the fire chief said that the fire started on the bench towards the rear of the store. I feel bad for him and his wife – they are a nice couple. Hope they have insurance and can get back on their feet again…

  • cv

    is Friedman’s closed? How badly were they affected?

  • beth


    there is a serious dearth of laundromats in the north heights. the trek from cranberry st to montague with a heavy bag is sort of brutal. i heard the newly renovated house on cranberry and hicks was one many moons ago.

    i guess there is a place on montague closer to willow, but the few times i have tried no washers were open.

  • ABC

    Why don’t you guys have the montague people pick up? I do that. The outfit next to DWR picks up in the morning and will deliver at around 6 or 7 that same day. Free (except tip)

  • nabeguy

    ABC, I would caution anyone sending their clothes to that shop to pull out anything delicate. My wife made that mistake and ended up with congeled laundry due to the high heat they run the dryers at and they refused to offer any compensation.

  • AJS

    This is horrible! George and Amy (the laundromat owners) have been fixtures of the neighborhood for years. Most of your comments are only concerns about alternative places to get your laundry done! Do you have any concern/compassion for a small, Mom n Pop Heights business?

  • ABC

    you gotta wash yer delicates by hand!

  • beth

    Mmm I think to interpret talking about alternatives as a lack of concern for the owners is a little faulty. I bet a lot of people here have compassion and concern but translating that into blog comments isn’t necessarily useful; stopping by to check in on them is. Helping people find places to do their laundry while this place is closed is not cold-hearted. It’s practical. Sheesh.

  • Jo

    I have been pretty happy with Coleman Cleaners on Hicks/Pineapple. Any issues have been rectified (laundry and dry cleaning).

    Sorry to hear about the place on Montague. Glad that everyone is alright, though. Amazing pictures, BTW.

  • AEB

    AJS, it isn’t either-or.

    That is, one can (and I did, above) express sympathy for the owners AND want to know where to go now to do one’s laundry.

    Thanks to all those with suggestions for replacement spots–my goal is to find a living-breathing laundromat–as opposed to a dry-cleaner that can send stuff out to be washed, usually at $1.50 a pound….

    Any further help would be appreciated.

  • http://erictabone.com e

    @AJS yeah… i came back to this post last night because i felt insensitive after posting concern about my sheets and not the owners.

    they’re super nice and i feel awful about what happened to their business. i really hope they have insurance and at the very least can get back on their feet immediately. as of last night, the space looked in pretty bad shape – i’ll check it out again this morning.

    i want to pick up my bags just to get them the money for the work they already did (i really don’t care about what’s in them, nothing important). they run a cash business, so hopefully the fire spared the register / bills.

  • Hexo66

    It’s a shame about the laundromat. They are a very nice couple. On the postive side of things, no one was hurt. In the end that’s all that matters.

  • JB

    They are such a nice couple, and I do hope insurance will cover their losses and that their business is ok… but I have to admit, I was also wondering if I was going to see my laundry again. There are a few things in the bag that aren’t replaceable. Has anyone noticed if they’re around during the day?

  • Anonymous

    JB: When I walked by last night I saw people picking up laundry (maybe around 6ish).

  • Cascas

    JB: I dropped by at 9.00 or so this morning to pick up some stuff…

  • mimi

    I am glad the owners are okay and feel for their loss of business but I had 2 huge bags there during the fire and am going to file under my renter’s insurance. Has anyone else done this? What kind of documentation do you need regarding the fire/business?

  • anon

    I don’t have renter’s insurance, so I am hoping there is a way to make a claim against the business’s insurance some other way… The disclaimers on the laundry tickets about ‘not being responsible for fire’ seem more like blind hope than actual legal release.

    Does anyone have any info on how to go about this? I have my claim ticket and a list of the items that were in my laundry bag.

  • anon

    Why didn’t the fire alarm go off? The person who was Nahe, my grandpuppy, please contact me. We would like to thank you. Hoping that your birds survived.

  • Anthony

    Hello. I am George and Amy’s son. First, I wanted to thank you all for all the caring posts, especially the person kind enough to print out the blogs for my parents to read (they don’t know how to use a computer). It’s nice to know that there are a lot of people who cared about them. They raised me so I know they are nice people, though they can be rather brash at times at the Laundromat.

    The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Meanwhile, my parents will be at the Laundromat during limited hours (the air isn’t too good there right now) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    For those asking if my parents will be restarting the Laundromat, it really depends on what happens in the next few weeks. Again, thank you all for your kind posts.
    Please feel free to send me an email anthony_tu@yahoo.com if you have any inquires and I will try to answer as best I could.

  • W.A.

    I just went to the laundromat at 78 Montague and was thrilled to see the v. friendly woman (name?) who used to work at the Tu’s place with her husband (who, unfortunatley, has not found work yet). I told the owner that we would be bringing our drop-off laundry to them now because of our old friend. I only wish they would hire her husband, too. Go and say hello to her if you can — she works everyday but Wed.

  • KDS

    Hi, does anyone know if the new laundromat on the next block is open yet? It just said that it will open in September. I looked for replacements where you can use machines nearby but didn’t find any. I’m going there with someone who is handicapped so nearby would be best. I live too far away to check in person so your help is much appreciated!