Building of third generation Antioch florist business destroyed by fire, early Monday morning

Owner Paula Franchetto-Trotta, husband Chris Trotta, her parents Bob and Mary Franchetto, and Fr. Roberto of Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church across the street assess the damage to the business Monday morning, Dec. 18.

The damage to the interior of the building.

By Allen Payton

The building that houses Paula’s Family Florist, located at 1412 A Street in Antioch, was destroyed by fire at about 4:30 a.m. Monday morning. Owner Paula Franchetto-Trotta, husband Chris Trotta, her parents Bob and Mary Franchetto, and Fr. Roberto of Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church were on hand at about 9:30 a.m. to assess the damage to the business.

It’s believed the cause was some homeless people starting a fire in the dumpster, Paula said. It’s a total loss, Chris said.

The business has been in the family for three generations and at the A Street location for over 50 years, Bob said, starting with his father. Cottage Florist is the former name before Bob and Mary sold the business to Paula.

Fortunately, Bob was late getting there, Mary said. He’s usually in by 4:00 a.m. and they believe the fire started about 4:30 when neighbors called the fire department. Bob said firefighters told him they had a hard time getting through the roof.

“I built the roof,” Bob added.

The family said they will move into and operate temporarily from the storage unit on the back lot of the property until all the insurance company can pay to rebuild. (See more photos on the Herald Facebook page)

The front of the building with fire retardant foam following the extinguishing of the fire Monday morning.

 

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‘s front with foam


‘s interior damage


‘s family & Fr Roberto


4 Comments to “Building of third generation Antioch florist business destroyed by fire, early Monday morning”

  1. Joe and I are so deeply sorry to see the fire damage and loss of this amazing business. Paula and her family are pillars of our community and have been instrumental in everything charity for all three generations. So very sad to see the destruction and hope to see the flower shop back n business ASAP!

  2. Deana Mckeney Nilsson says:

    This just breaks my heart. If I were closer I’d come in to help with anything needed. This was my first real florist job. I have a picture of my first bridal bouquet on the back step. I owe my career to the Franchetto Family. Bob, Mary, Paula and family, you all are in my thoughts and prayers for a quick clean-up.

  3. Arne says:

    This is really sad, as Bob & Mary Franchetto are my next door neighbors. I was over this morning talking to Bob, Mary & Paula and provided them with some large cans that they needed. This is a strong family and they are all pitching in to keep the business running. They even were able to fulfil an order for a funeral this morning. So many precious photos and awards were lost in this fire, but thankfully everyone is safe and ready to rebuild. A friend even used his truck this morning to take items that they were able to salvage and get them into storage.

  4. Karen says:

    I am so saddened by the news. Lots of fond memories at the flower shop. Love to you all, I know this is a death for you.

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