Devastating Fire in History of Downtown Geneva, Illinois

For over 50 years, Geneva Cleaners has provided dry cleaning services in Geneva and surrounding communities, including Batavia and St. Charles. Geneva Cleaners is a family owned and operated business that has been passed down for three generations. We understand dry cleaning may be an afterthought for most people, but for us it is a way of life. Geneva Cleaners has been handed down by our family and we are truly passionate about our business and our community. Through the years our family has seen Geneva grow, build, and rebuild…

Devastating Fire in History of Downtown Geneva, Illinois

1953 Geneva CleanersThe Geneva Ace Hardware fire in 1953 burns to the ground most of the south side of the 100 block of West State Street, including the First National Bank.

On the bitter cold and windy night of Sunday, Feb. 1, 1953, the clock at the First National Bank of Geneva stopped at 7:45 p.m., marking the apex of the Geneva Ace Hardware fire—very likely the worst downtown fire in Geneva history.

And though he was just a boy at the time, longtime Tri-Com Central Dispatch Director Jerry Bleck, now retired, carries memories of the devastation to this day and compares it to the other well-known Geneva downtown fires.

1953 Geneva Cleaners“I was only 4 years old in 1953, so a little young to have many of the fire details,” Bleck said in an e-mail to Geneva Patch. “However, I had been working for the Geneva Police Department for eight years and Tri-Com and 9-1-1 was just 2 years old when the Kaiser’s Dime Store fire occurred in 1978.

“Downtown State Street has seen many disastrous fires, including the Coryell’s Tri-City Radio Shop fire, the fire in the apartments above the Little Owl, and the fire at the Fox Valley Restaurant that I do remember.”

But the fire in 1953 probably was the worst, Bleck said.

Geneva Cleaners Rebuild 1953
                     Geneva Cleaners Rebuild 1953

“Most of the south side of the 100 block of West State Street burned to the ground, including the First National Bank. The damage to the bank was far worse than the fire at the State Bank of Geneva this last October.”

The Kaiser Dime Store fire in 200 block of West State Street and the Coryell Tri-City Radio Store fire in the 0-99 block of West State State took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bleck said.

Geneva Cleaners 1953 Page 0 (2)

Geneva Patch Original Article January 2013 – Click here for article and credits.

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Cleaning and Storing Garments to Prevent Insect Damage

For over 50 years, Geneva Cleaners has provided dry cleaning services to Geneva and the surrounding communities, including Batavia and St. Charles. We are dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint in our offerings such as; car hop drive-up service, express bag service, same day service, shirt service, drapery cleaning, wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress preservation, alterations, tailoring, fire restoration services, and more. We do this by using low-impact cleaning products, state of the art machines, and reduction in excessive paper and plastic waste with increasingly popular “Green Bags.”

Cleaning and Storing Garments to Prevent Insect Damage

 

Mysteriously appearing holes may be the result of insect damage. Often the holes may not be readily apparent until after cleaning. Garments that have been stored for a long time are particularly prone to insect damage. Moth damage is commonly seen on wool fabrics, but beetles, silverfish, roaches, and other insects feed on stains and sizings on fabrics made of other fibers. The type of fabric or food substance insects are attracted to determines whether the damage they cause is direct or indirect.

Direct damage occurs when insects such as webbing cloth moths, casemaking cloth moths, and sometimes termites, feed directly on the fabric. This group of insects attacks wool, mohair, natural bristles, fur, feathers, and down. They also damage blended fibers such as wool/polyester – dispelling the notion that the use of synthetic fibers immunizes the fabrics against insect damage.

Indirect damage occurs when insects such as silverfish, beetles, and roaches feed on leftover food, perspiration, beverage spills, and starch on the fabric. For this reason, any stains, especially food and beverage residue, should be removed from a garment before it is stored. Prevention of insect damage includes cleaning garments and using mothballs or cedar chests. Cleaning discourages insects from making their home in your garments. Although most forms of moth life are destroyed by drycleaning solvents during cleaning, moth larvae can attack fabrics once the solvent evaporates.

Using moth balls or cedar chests or chips can help prevent insect damage. The odor of mothballs may repel larvae and insects if the area of use is enclosed, thus ensuring a high concentration of odor. Suspend the mothballs above the garments; do not place them directly on the garments. The scent of cedar chests or chips repels insects, but it is the air tightness of the chest that protects the garments from insect damage.

One problem with using mothballs is the lingering odor after the garments are removed from storage. Try hanging the garments outside for several days after removal from storage. If hanging outside won’t remove the mothball odor, ask us to remove the odors. In some cases we may need to use an ozone generator. Ozone generators work by passing dry air through a high frequency electrical field. The resulting electrical discharge splits an oxygen molecule into two free atoms, allowing them to combine with an oxygen molecule that has not been split to form ozone. The contact between ozone and the odors embedded in the textiles causes oxidation to recur, eliminating the odors and releasing oxygen.

Your garments will love you for not leaving them to the moths.

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Prevent Delayed Stains

How to Prevent Delayed Stains from Crashing Your Party

At Geneva Cleaners, Geneva, Illinois; we want to be sure you fully understand some the challenges your fabrics may face during dry cleaning (or lack of proper dry cleaning). We hope this article helps shed some light on pesky stains.

It’s a whole lot easier to get rid of unwanted guests before they become permanent residents. Mysterious stains sometimes appear on clothes after a period of time in storage. Faint stains may also appear worse or stains “invisible” to the naked eye may show up only after the garment is cleaned. Making sure clothing is properly cleaned before storage is the best defense against these problems. This is true for all garments including wedding gowns. Club soda and water are good short-term solutions to stains, but they do not remove all of the staining material. It is risky to store a garment that has not been fully cleaned. Be sure to tell the counter staff about any stains or spills when dropping off clothes.
wedding dress
The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, the trade association for professional drycleaners to which we belong, conducted several tests to show how hidden stains can resurface after cleaning if not addressed prior to cleaning. By spilling a juice beverage on the sweater shown below the Institute observed there was no visible stain after it dried. Then, the Institute cleaned the sweater and the heat of the cleaning accelerated the oxidation of the sugars and tannin residues that were in the juice. As seen in the second picture, the “invisible” stain is readily apparent after cleaning.

Next, the Institute stained a blouse with an alcoholic beverage that oxidized and left a faint stain. In this case cleaning removed the stain, but the next picture shows the loss of color that resulted from contact with the alcohol. Some products that contain alcohol include perfume, skin freshener, after shave, cologne, hair spray, lotions, and some medicines.

The best short-term prevention is to thoroughly rinse all affected areas with water, taking care to blot-not rub-the stained areas. That will get you through the night, then it is best to get the garment to us as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage or color loss. Please inform the clerk of any spills when you drop off your clothes so we can attend to those stains and hopefully prevent any delayed staining.

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