The Student News Site of Ballard High School



Follow Us on Instagram

Explosion Wrecks Local Corner Store

Community rallies in support of small business and neighborhood keystone Take 5 Urban Market
(Tansy Velush)
Located on the corner of 8th and 67th St, Take 5 Urban Market has been a keystone of the Whittier Heights neighborhood for 17 years.

The Ballard community has come together in support of their favorite corner store this month after an explosion caused the business to close earlier this month. Just a couple blocks from our school, Take 5 Urban Market and nearby homes were shaken by an explosion at around 7 a.m. on the morning of May 2. The blast blew out the windows and sent the building up in flames. 

Firefighters were on the scene by 7:15 tackling the fire. Thankfully, the store wasn’t open at the time of the explosion and no one was injured. The cause was ruled to be an accidental natural gas leak. The fire did not branch into the adjoining buildings and was contained fairly quickly with help from surrounding residents who brought out fire extinguishers and water to calm the flames.

Senior Claire Thompson has been a frequent customer for the last two years, her go-to order being their BLATT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, turkey and tomato) with dill pickles and a slice of New York cheesecake. Thompson and her boyfriend drove to the deli after hearing the news. Thompson says she had trouble believing it had actually happened and thought her friend was joking about the store. “I will always tell my friends if anything happens to Take 5, if it goes out of business or burns down, I’ve lost all purpose.” she said, “and I never knocked on wood, and then this happened.”

Thompson said she saw one of the store owners, Rebecca Rouleau teary-eyed sitting on a milk crate talking to police officers. “It was heartbreaking,” she said. “Rebecca is always there to greet me and Piers, she is the sweetest woman I have met in my entire life.”

Many were worried about the business being able to come back after such a devastating loss. 

“Everybody loves Take 5 so much, the community is not going to let them just go away like that,” said Thompson. That statement couldn’t be more true. 

Located on the corner of Eighth and 67th St, Take 5 Urban Market has been a keystone of the Whittier Heights neighborhood for 17 years. The explosion united the community with many people sharing testimonies and writing well wishes on the boarded-up windows. In addition to being a long-standing family-owned business, Take 5 is a partner with the local elementary school Whittier. The students wrote messages of love and support on a banner that the principal delivered to the owners.

Senior Emme Rousseau, who lives a couple of blocks away and has been going to the deli since childhood, heard the explosion take place. “Take 5 is just such a special place, it’s always been there,” she said. Rousseau said she was reminded of a similar incident at the store almost a year ago in which a microwave exploded. Unlike this month’s explosion, the past one didn’t cause lasting damage. “The neighborhood really did come together and support them,” Rousseau said. “It showed how much people care about this business and the efforts they’ll go through to save.”

GoFundMe has been created to benefit Rouleau and her husband in their efforts to recover from the damages and save the store. The GoFundMe has since reached and surpassed its goal with over $45,000 raised towards the target of $40,000. Like many Ballard residents, I eagerly await the day my favorite corner store reopens.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talisman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ballard High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Talisman

Comments (0)

All Talisman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *