4 Pawtucket shops forced to close after fire; business and employees affected
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE): An electrical fire in a market on Smithfield Avenue forced all 4 businesses on the strip to temporarily close down.
The fire started inside Nana's African and Carribean Market. The smoke affecting all businesses along the strip though.
The owner of Helaney's Food & More said the fire could not have come at a worse time.
"I feel bad because I have 6 employees off the job today," Abdallah Issa said. "I feel bad for them because Christmas is coming."
Issa says everything from the bakery is homemade. Although insurance will cover the costs, he has to throw everything away, and estimates that he'll lose around $5,000.
Maria's Breakfast & Lunch is another business affected. The owners say they have to throw out all their food and had to cancel their catering events this week, losing out on business.
Dozens of customers showed up to only be turned away by the closed sign at the door.
"I am so disappointed," Anta Cooper, a South Providence resident, said. "I was on my way to the doctor and had my uncle bring me to Maria's and now they're closed."
Cleaning companies were at work today, before the Department of Health's inspection. Once the DOH gives them the okay, the businesses can reopen.
The owner at Maria's estimates that it won't happen for another week.
"We have to throw everything out and make sure nothing is contaminated. It's a mess!"
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.