On June 6, a fire demolished the 5,000-square-foot warehouse at 122 Santa Barbara Street where Vasari Plaster was housed and where the company’s owner, Alex Conrad, and his family lived.

“It was just like any other day,” Conrad remembered. “That day we actually had the most amount of orders we’ve ever had.”

But that morning, Conrad’s 10-year-old son started yelling, and Conrad smelled smoke. Within three minutes the entire warehouse was burned down, including $100,000 in business equipment and, of course, the Conrad family’s home.

“There was a couple of hours where I felt I was done,” said Conrad. “But then I realized how lucky I was to be alive and to have a business. It would be crazy not to continue.”

Today, only two months after the fire, Vasari Plaster is back and in better shape than ever with its new location at 624 East Haley Street. “We actually have more customers now than before,” said Conrad. “I feel more confident and I’m grateful to be alive.”

The cause of the fire, which an ongoing investigation has so far determined originated in the warehouse’s residential area, remains unknown.


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