By JOHN T. WARD
After just five weeks in business, Femme by Ashley, the Red Bank lingerie and swimwear store owned by former tabloid queen Ashley DuPre, was closed this weekend as a result of a small electrical fire.
A transformer connected to the lighting system malfunctioned last Thursday morning, Dupré’s boyfriend, T.J. Earle, tells redbankgreen.
The incident tripped an alarm and volunteer firefighters found the source of the problem. The store, at 15 Broad Street, was filled with smoke, but there was no open fire, Earle said.
“Luckily, they got in there and shut off the power quickly,” he said.
The store is not equipped with sprinklers.
Now 27 years old, Dupré was a 22-year-old high-priced courtesan when her assignations with Eliot Spitzer in a Washington, D.C. hotel room came to light, ending his tenure as New York’s governor.
In her sole interview about the store, Dupré told redbankgreen last month that Femme is her bid at putting the “mistakes” of her past behind her and creating a new future for herself.
Earle said all the store’s merchandise and the heavy drapery that was used to wall off the changing rooms was being treated to remove the smell of smoke, and that the store would probably reopen on Wednesday.
“We’ll probably have a sale or something,” he said.