BELMONT (CBS) – A 3-alarm fire damaged several small businesses and destroyed a newly renovated convenience store.
The fire began around 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of Belmont Street.READ MORE: Anyone Age 12 And Up Now Eligible For COVID Vaccines In Massachusetts
Fire officials say it began in the rear of Jimmy’s Food Mart.
“I came out of the café and there was just smoke billowing out of the café. It was black, thick, heavy, heavy some,” says Seta Dakessian, who owns Seta’s cafe.
“The block has smoke damage throughout the whole block. There’s water damage in both (adjoining) stores,” says Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell.
The owner of Jimmy’s Food Mart tells WBZ his wife was outside when she first saw the smoke.
He says they opened the business less than a year ago after extensive renovations.
Firefighters say old, renovated buildings are often challenging.READ MORE: It Happens Here: Former Kingston Oyster Farmer Pivots To Fashion With 'The Oyster Bag'
“They’re called taxpayers. There’s multiple renovations in the stores, tin ceilings, multiple ceilings. The renovations make it tough to get at the hidden fire,” says the fire chief.
“We had a really tough winter. It was really tough on all of us, and this just made it a lot worse…for them anyways,” says Dakessian.
As many as six businesses sustained damage.
Leo Saidnawey, Belmont’s director of emergency management, captured video of the fire:
No one was hurt.
The fire was knocked down by around 9 p.m.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Fire officials haven’t determined a cause.