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Kodiak firework store opens for pre-orders ahead of Fourth of July

Sandra Gregory (center) checks an order for two patrons before the walk off, July 1, 2024.
Brian Venua
Sandra Gregory (center) checks an order for two patrons, July 1, 2024.

The pyrotechnic store has been open for over 40 years, however a fire sent explosions shooting from the building last month. In lieu of a storefront, the business is taking pre-orders by phone.

Les and Dan’s Firework Stand is based out of a metal container van, just north of city limits, next to Rezanof past Mill Bay Beach. It’s the island community’s sole pyrotechnic store.

The business has operated in Kodiak for over 40 years. But it’s not business as usual this year – a fire sent explosions shooting from the building in the middle of the night last month. Despite that setback, it’s still open for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

Sandra Gregory is the daughter of one of the owners and runs the store.

“We are very thankful that the fire was contained, that all the protocols were followed, and that no one was hurt,” she said. “It could have been so much worse and (I’m) very thankful.”

Gregory said she only heard about the fire after it was out. The business lost about a third of its products, however she said another storage area that holds a new shipment of fireworks will get them through the next week of business.

The store itself is still standing, but the investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing. That means the business can’t have people walking through the building for the time being.

Gregory said she’s been posting everywhere she can think to announce that the firework stand is only taking pre-orders this year. Patrons can call her at (907) 539-5951 to customize their firework orders.

“We just take what they like, make the order up to their budget, and pack it up, and it’s been working really well so far,” Gregory said.

She said it’s best for her team’s workflow for customers to pick orders up in front of the store’s regular location as soon as they’re ready.

From left to right, Sherry Seaton, Sandra Gregory, and Carl Rosette, July 1, 2024.
Brian Venua
From left to right, Sherry Seaton, Sandra Gregory, and Carl Rosette, July 1, 2024.

She said it’s reminiscent of how they did orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been some struggles though – not having a storefront means they don’t have any visuals to help customers see what fireworks they have in stock. The business also doesn’t have a website to list its inventory.

Gregory said another challenge is sorting through their storage space since they were previously counting on using the old store.

“We are very limited on space to work with,” she said. “We just have two Conex vans that we’re trying to climb over boxes and stuff and get things together to get enough product out to make a little more space for us to work.”

The firework store may have a tent set up outside leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, depending on weather. Gregory said she hopes to build a new store after the state’s investigation is complete.

There aren’t currently any extra fire restrictions in the Kodiak area ahead of the holiday, however firefighters encourage residents to use fireworks responsibly.

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