• Tue. Sep 28th, 2021

After devastating fire, Portland home design business looks to rebuild itself

A home renovation business whose Portland headquarters were destroyed by fire earlier this month is rebuilding itself — and assisting 10 other small businesses that were also damaged.

Offices of Design Concepts were a “total loss,” according to founder and owner Carey Goltz, after a June 11 blaze ripped through a 26,000-square-foot warehouse complex at 160 Presumpscot St.

But Design Concepts has reopened in showroom space used by a division of the company, Maine Floor Supply, next door at 142 Presumpscot St., Goltz said in an email to customers Monday. And she is looking for a new permanent location.

“We appreciate your understanding as we continue to evolve our company to provide the best service to our clients. Please stay tuned to learn more about our new location and contractor network in the coming months,” she said in the email.

Last week, Goltz also launched a crowdfunding campaign, the 160 Phoenix Fund, to help businesses at the site recover.

The fundraising drive has a $10,000 goal. “Any financial help is greatly appreciated and will be divided among the businesses to help rebuild and move forward after this devastating loss,” the donation website says.

The warehouse and office complex is home to other small businesses, including TwinMed LLC, a medical products distributor, and Canvas Tek, a supplier of boat covers. The complex consists of a one-story building dating to 1907, and two-story addition made in 1999. The assessed value of the property was $1.3 million, according to city tax records.

The site, in a largely industrial area of the city’s East Deering neighborhood, is across the street from a branch of Eldredge Lumber and Hardware. Coincidentally, that’s where a November 2019 fire caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

At Design Concepts, the three-alarm fire was reported by a passing motorist at 2:10 a.m., and brought out every company of the Portland Fire Department as well as units from Westbrook and Falmouth, the fire department said. Crews fought the blaze for several hours, and one firefighter was hospitalized for minor injuries received at the scene, and later released.

The fire department said the one-story building was completely destroyed and the two-story structure substantially damaged. The cause is still under investigation.

Design Concepts, founded in 2007, provides a range of kitchen and bath renovation, flooring and home remodeling services. In addition to its Portland location, the company is planning to open a branch in Freeport, according to the Design Concepts website.