FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A two-alarm fire destroyed a storefront overnight in Freeport.
Approximately 120 firefighters responded to a building on Guy Lombardo Avenue just after midnight.
“This is my heart and soul,” said Suzzanne Serino of Duryea’s Flower Shop. She was overwhelmed with emotion hours after arranging bouquets at her family’s landmark flower shop. It was engulfed in flames. Firefighters from 10 departments tried to save the florist, a restaurant-deli and offices of a dance studio.
“I’m praying God that we can still do soemthin for these holidays,” Serino said.
Duryea’s has been around since 1930, located on Guy Lombardo Avenue in the heart of Freeport. The Martin family bought it 45 years ago.
“Both my aunts and grandmother have given their heart and soul to this place. It’s devastating,” said Kaitlyn Martin.
“Horrible. Especially around Thanksgiving, with these folks going through COVID and the impact that has had,” said Raymond Maguire of the Freeport Fire Department.
The fire burned at 1,500 degrees and traveled from the florist into the deli. The pressure from the smoke was so intense the windows and doors exploded. Shattering glass from the backdraft blew into the faces of five firefighters who barely escaped serious injury.
“Everyone’s safe. That’s all that matters. This can be restored – someone’s life can’t,” said deli owner Carlos Santana. “We’ll come back stronger.”
Santana’s family deli served authentic Mexican fare. They are hopeful, but uncertain.
“Everything, with COVID going on, makes everything that much more difficult. I wish i had the answer to what comes next,” Kaitlyn Martin said. “My family are full of fighters and our community loves us.”
Already the community is embracing the business owners and vowing to help them rebuild.
All five victims are expected to be OK.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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