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Dry cleaning business damaged by fire in Delray Beach

Aloha Dry Cleaners & Alterations sustains heavy smoke, water damage
Aloha Dry Cleaners & Alterations fire in Delray Beach, June 3, 2022
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 18:33:36-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Crews in Delray Beach battled a fire Friday morning that heavily damaged a dry cleaning business.

The fire occurred at Aloha Dry Cleaners & Alterations, located at 501 Northeast Second St., just after 7 a.m.

Crews received a call from an employee that came to the store early to open up and discovered the fire.

Delray Beach Fire Rescue tweeted a video of crews fighting the flames and heavy smoke.

Multiple fire crews, including from the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, assisted in extinguishing the flames.

Delray Beach Fire Rescue utilized a drone with thermal imaging to fight the flames.

"Those infrared cameras are priceless to firefighters," Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Dani Moschella said. "They can access hotspots, see where the hotspots are and also locate any people or other firefighters inside a fire when smoky conditions make it difficult for them to see."

Margarita Molina, who has been a seamstress at the business for 10 years, was heartbroken by the fire.

"It's really sad because it was part of my life," Molina said. "A very important part of my life."

She said the business started in 1964 and has been a staple of the community for decades.

"The original owners chose that name because it started with an "A," so it was the first one that showed up in the Yellow Pages when there was no Google," Molina said.

Margarita Molina, seamstress at Aloha Dry Cleaners & Alterations
Margarita Molina expresses her hope that the Aloha Dry Cleaners & Alterations will reopen soon after Friday's fire.

Fire officials said no one was hurt. However, the art deco-style building suffered heavy smoke and water damage.

As Molina and the owners looked at the damage left behind from the fire, Molina remained optimistic.

"Now we have no place to work, but we will rebuild," she said. "We'll be back soon, I hope."

The cause is being investigated by the fire marshal.