Early Friday morning, a three-alarm fire destroyed Bon-Vue Enterprises’ 14,000 square-foot warehouse in North Long Beach. One firefighter suffered second-degree burns in the blaze, which caused an estimated $5 million in damage.
“We still don’t know the cause of the fire,” said Bon-Vue’s Robert Best. “We were lucky we had a watchdog on the premises. One of our editors was working in the building, and the dog kept barking and bugging him. When he walked out of the editing room, the place was filled with smoke.”
According to a report in the Long Beach Press-Telegram, an estimated 75 firefighters had the blaze under control within a few hours. By the time the Long Beach Fire Department mopped up at 7 a.m., the roof of the structure had collapsed.
“The Long Beach Fire Department really deserves a pat on the back,” Best said. “After they determined that no one was inside, they shifted their focus to saving the office where we keep our records. Our 2257 records were singed, but not burnt. Some of them got wet and they’re at document restoration place. It makes me wonder, though: the 2257 law requires that you keep originals on the premises – so what do they do if you have a fire and you lose them all?”
Known as one of the leading producers and distributors of BDSM material, Bon-Vue has operated at the North Long Beach location for approximately five years. The fire consumed a massive inventory including books, magazines and DVDs.
“We lost the whole warehouse, the studio; everything,” Best said. “But we will be at the AVN show, and we will be back in business as soon as it is feasible. We estimate that we’ll be back in the mail-order business by the time of the AVN show and back up and running with distribution by Feb. 1. We will be going out of the magazine business; all of that [inventory] was burned. The internet has made magazines superfluous, anyway. Our customer list was saved, and we may go back into printing books because books have been selling well, as opposed to magazines.”
“We do have copies of most of our DVD titles,” Best added. “We may be calling on some of our wholesale people to give us one copy of something we might be missing. It’s unfortunate that this happened now, as we’re in setting-up mode for the [AVN] show. We are, if not the first, then the second largest BDSM company around, and we will be back to that totally within six months.”