Heroic first-responders, quick-thinking team members and proactive industry partners — not to mention a supportive local community — helped mitigate the fallout of a devastating fire over the July 4th weekend at a floral business in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Josh Glass, AAF, vice president of Peoples Flowers, had a house filled with guests for the holiday when he got the call on July 4 that a major fire was underway at the business’s main location. Glass rushed to the scene to find Peoples’ greenhouse and five delivery vehicles destroyed and police and firefighters launching an investigation and still actively putting out the blaze.
“The vehicles were totally melted — burned completely away,” Glass said.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire.
Police quickly determined the fire was set intentionally and have since caught the suspect, a man with no connection to Peoples. (In-store surveillance cameras proved a great resource to officers in that effort.) Glass and his team wasted no time working to minimize the disruption in service; he was on the phone that night and early the next morning with his Internet provider, power company and industry partners GravityFree and Teleflora, among others.
While Peoples’ four outlying locations were still fully operational, those smaller shops depend on the affected location for logistics, tech, design and delivery support (including RTI functionality) — so getting back up and running fast was critical, Glass said.
The business worked with GravityFree to immediately share updates on its website and social media platforms. The team temporarily stopped accepting timed orders and made plans with delivery drivers to use personal vehicles for deliveries. Power and Internet both were restored by 10 a.m. the morning after the fire. By the following day, July 6, the Peoples team had forged longer-term solutions to deal with the loss of its delivery feet, securing rental vans and resuming timed orders.
Insurance adjustors finished their review of the site on July 7. Glass is estimating the damage to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s the kind of loss he wouldn’t wish on anyone, he said. Still, he added, the surreal experience has helped underscore the importance of leadership and teamwork — and the need to act quickly in a crisis.