ICS Magazine

Update on fire-ravaged Arslanian Bros. carpet-cleaning business

January 2, 2008

CLEVELAND – Jan. 1 (Plain Dealer) -- Armen Arslanian could only shake his head as he watched the carpet-cleaning business he and two brothers built burn the night of May 14.

An electrical fire burned the building at 10009 Miles Road on Cleveland's East Side, which the company used for 48 years, to just a shell in a few frantic hours. A company van was charred. Records were incinerated. The $250,000 rug-cleaning machine was damaged. And about 1,000 customers' rugs - some family heirlooms- helped fuel the blaze.

"What's left of that?" he asked, gazing at the scorched warehouse. "My God."

Since then, Arslanian Bros. has stayed alive in three makeshift facilities, cleaning rugs and drying them out in temporary locations in Independence and Bedford Heights. And after the brothers toured a few dozen buildings looking for a new headquarters, they settled on an old printing shop in Warrensville Heights for their new location.

By the middle of this month, the repaired rug-cleaning machine from the old facility will be up and running in the new location at 19499 Miles Road, at Emery Road, and the business will be back at full power.

Arslanian said insurance covered most of the fire costs. Though they have had to fend off frauds, they have replaced rugs for some old customers and settled with others. That process continues.

"At first it looked pretty bleak," said Ted Arslanian, one of the three founding brothers. "But we made certain sacrifices, and the family all worked together."