Business & Real Estate

Firefighter Burn Institute loses partner in Farrell’s Ice Cream closure

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour on Watt Avenue closed its doors Monday after being forced out by rising rent, according to the company’s president.
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour on Watt Avenue closed its doors Monday after being forced out by rising rent, according to the company’s president. rchang@sacbee.com

The closing of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in Sacramento this week will also mean the end of a partnership with a local charity.

The nonprofit Firefighters Burn Institute was founded in 1973, a year after a fighter jet crashed into the Farrell’s Ice Cream restaurant located on Freeport Boulevard, killing 22 people. Former Sacramento Fire Capt. Cliff Haskell founded the organization with the task of establishing a burn treatment center in Sacramento, which did not exist at the time.

Farrell’s had several locations in the Sacramento area during the 1970s and 1980s before leaving town. In 2013, the brand – under the management of a new Southern California company – returned to Sacramento on Watt Avenue.

Farrell’s new owners approached the Firefighters Burn Institute, and the two partners soon established a memorial to Haskell in the restaurant’s parking lot, said Jim Doucette, executive director of the institute.

“We were founded because of the tragedy,” Doucette said. “Sometimes out of bad stuff, good things happen.”

The partners eventually sold 72 brick pavers for the memorial over three years, raising roughly $9,000 for the nonprofit, according to Doucette. A total of 500 bricks were earmarked for the memorial, which will be dismantled, he said.

While the Burn Institute is planning to move the memorial to the group’s headquarters on Stockton Boulevard, those who purchased the bricks will be eligible for a full refund, Doucette said.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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