Culture News

Fire Damages Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions off Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix

A house fire broke out at Fifth and Roosevelt streets early Wednesday morning, significantly damaging Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions.

The fire started shortly after 5 a.m. on August 24 in the attic area of the historic home that housed the print shop and gallery at 917 North Fifth Street. According to multiple reports, the fire was contained by 5:30 a.m.

Randy Phillips, who owns and operates Think, tells New Times he found out his business was burning after receiving a Twitter notification from a local television news station story.

"[It said] the Think office was on fire, so I rushed over. And that's where we are right now," he says during a mid-morning phone call.

Because of the early hour, no employees were present and no injuries were reported. The office and all its equipment, however, are ruined.

"We had garment printers in there and regular printers and digital printers and computers and stuff," Phillips says, adding that it seemed like some sort of electrical fire. "Everything's either charred or melted or water damage. Everything is pretty much done. We're gonna have to move entirely."

The print shop, which specializes in everything from fliers for local art shows to screen printing and business cards, has been a Roosevelt Row staple for the better part of a decade. 

Phillips' landlord and neighboring business owners have rallied to help him find a temporary home for the operation — possibly next door to Flowers on Roosevelt — that can be up and running within the next month to 45 days. Phillips isn't looking at this as an ending, but rather a setback, one he's determined to rise up from with the help of the community and a GoFundMe account.

"We basically have to figure out what's the next step," he says. "That's part of the reason for the GoFundMe. I don't want to have to lay anybody off. I want to try to get up and going here downtown as fast as I possibly can."

The trending GoFundMe campaign, "Raise Think Phoenix from the ashes!", has already raised $1,155 of its $50,000 goal within hours of its launch. Unlike similar platforms, fundraising through the site allows users to keep all donations, regardless of whether they make their goal.

Think's sister location, at 1425 East University Drive in Tempe, will remain open for business. The majority of Think's orders are placed online, so everything is be re-routed and it's still "full steam ahead," Phillips says.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Phoenix Fire Department officials.
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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard