2015-10-28 / Front Page

FDNY Seeks Cause Of Broadway Blaze

By Liz Goff
Fire marshals this week are combing through the remains of three Astoria businesses that suffered damage in an early morning blaze on October 22.

Alex Prenga, manager of the Chicken Shack restaurant at 31-88 37th Street (near Broadway,) told the Gazette he returned to the restaurant at about 2:30 a.m. on October 22 to find a thick layer of smoke pouring from the basement of the eatery.

Prenga said employees cleaning up in the basement area after closing smelled smoke and called 911, but it was too late to save food and inventory stored in the basement. Other items, including bags of trash that were headed for a container outside the restaurant were also snapped up by the flames, fire officials said.

Fire officials said the ground floor and basement area of the building suffered major damage that will force the restaurant to remain closed indefinitely.

The fast-moving fire spread to Jewels of Buddha, a clothing and accessory store at 31-84 37th Street and Winegasm, a popular wine bar and restaurant at 31-80 37th Street.

Both businesses remain closed this week as crews work to clean up damage caused by the blaze, fire officials said.

Fire officials said seven units with 60 firefighters battled the blaze for just over an hour before it was declared under control. There were no injuries, an FDNY spokesperson said.

FDNY officials said an investigation is ongoing to determine the exact cause of the blaze and where the fire started.

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