One week after fire, Catonsville florist up and running for Valentine’s Day

One week before arguably the biggest day of the year for the floral industry — Valentine’s Day — Catonsville florist Allison Glascock found herself a business owner without a home.Glascock’s Blue Iris Flowers in Catonsville suffered a fire on the...

One week after fire, Catonsville florist up and running for Valentine’s Day

One week before arguably the biggest day of the year for the floral industry — Valentine’s Day — Catonsville florist Allison Glascock found herself a business owner without a home.

Glascock’s Blue Iris Flowers in Catonsville suffered a fire on the morning of Feb. 6 that caused an estimated $350,000 in damage.

The blaze left the flower seller unable to operate in its Frederick Road location, but this week Glascock and her crew are scrambling to fill orders of roses and Valentine bouqets from another location — the former home of Riedel’s Flowers on Linden Avenue in nearby Arbutus.

A fire damaged a business on Frederick Road in Catonsville early Monday.

“We were very fortunate that we had that to fall back on,” said Glascock, who has owned Blue Iris since 2011. “That was not planned.”

Riedel’s closed last year, and, after the fire, Glascock connected with its former operators, who offered to rent the vacant shop.

The solution came just in time to help Blue Iris with the holiday rush. The fresh flowers the shop buys from wholesalers for Valentine’s Day were ordered after Christmas and started arriving last Thursday, Glascock said.

Finding a place to store and arrange those flowers was critical. Last year, Blue Iris filled about 500 orders between Feb. 13 and 14, she said.

The help from a former competitor wasn’t the only support Glascock has received. Since the fire, she said, the shop has fielded hundreds of calls and social media messages from the community. A GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $5,000 as of last week.

Tom Quirk, a Baltimore County councilman who represents Catonsville and has an office nearby, said he expects neighbors and other businesses to help Glascock however they can.

“It’s really unfortunate,” he said of the fire. “She spent a lot of money investing and fixing up the place.”

Baltimore County Battalion Chief Blaine Kurrle, on the early morning fire at Blue Iris Flowers shop in Catonsville. (Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore County Battalion Chief Blaine Kurrle, on the early morning fire at Blue Iris Flowers shop in Catonsville. (Baltimore Sun video)

Glascock is hopeful she’ll be able to return to her Frederick Road storefront, but is prepared to stay in Arbutus for up to a year. A best-case scenario would have her returning to Catonsville within four months, she said.

The business, which has a full-time staff of four and additional help for Valentine’s Day, was fully insured, Glascock said.

Meanwhile, the cause of the predawn fire last week remains under investigation. It appears to have started in the basement of the century-old building and burned to the upper levels through the walls and a rear staircase, Baltimore County Fire Department Battalion Chief Blaine Kurrle said.

Nobody was in the building at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported. The three-story building was built in 1900, according to state property tax records.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

Highlights of Catonsville girls basketball win over Perry Hall. (Craig Clary/BSMG)

Highlights of Catonsville girls basketball win over Perry Hall. (Craig Clary/BSMG)

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Towson's Emmey German talks about senior night on the basketball court (Craig Clary/BSMG)

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