Really Good Stuff owner sues Lounge Lizard after SE Portland fire

The fire of October 5 destroyed 4 businesses at SE 13th Avenue & Hawthorne Boulevard

A building housing 4 companies along the SE Hawthorne between 13 and 14 was destroyed by fire on October 5, 2021 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A business owner in southeast Portland sues a neighboring business for negligence three weeks after a massive fire destroyed their shared building.

The fire on October 5 destroyed four businesses on 13th Avenue SE and Hawthorne Boulevard: Thai Touch, the Lebanese restaurant in Riyadh, the Really Good Stuff antique store and the Lounge Lizard vintage furniture store.

Two firefighters working outside the building were injured when a smoke explosion blew through the window, Portland Fire and Rescue said. They were hospitalized with minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Really Good Stuff owner Evan Shlaes lost it all when a 3-alarm fire devastated his business and 3 others on SE Hawthorne in Portland on October 6, 2021 (KOIN)

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 22 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Really Good Stuff owner Evan Shlaes alleges the fire started in the “paint booth ventilation system” of Lounge Lizard and that “flames were first seen erupting through the window, above and around the exterior of the building.

Two Lounge Lizard employees quickly informed a Really Good Stuff employee of the fire and said the building needed to be evacuated, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Lounge Lizard’s ventilation system was “dirty, covered with residues of flammable materials, was maintained by substandard electrical devices and cables, and was not properly inspected and maintained.”

Shlaes accuses Lounge Lizard of negligence which led to the total loss of Really Good Stuff. He is suing the company for $ 250,000 in damages.

Really Good Stuff had been in business for 30 years. Shortly after the fire, Shlaes told KOIN 6 News that it took decades to accumulate the unique items in her store. He said he did not have fire insurance.

Shlaes said he plans to reopen his store in a new location: SE 37th Avenue and Division Street. A GoFundMe has raised over $ 37,000 to help Really Good Stuff rebuild.

KOIN 6 News has reached out to the owner of Lounge Lizard for comment on the lawsuit, as well as Portland Fire and Rescue for comment on the suspected cause of the fire.

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