By Julie Loncich, WBZ-TV


BELMONT (CBS) – A 3-alarm fire damaged several small businesses and destroyed a newly renovated convenience store.

(Photo by Marisa Pettiglio)

Firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze Saturday night at a block of Belmont stores.(Photo by Marisa Pettiglio)

The fire began around 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of Belmont Street.

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.

“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.

Firefighters knocked down a fire at some Belmont stores Saturday night. (Photo by Julie Loncich/WBZ-TV)

Firefighters knocked down a fire at some Belmont stores Saturday night. (Photo by Julie Loncich/WBZ-TV)

Fire officials haven’t determined a cause.

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