Patrons of The Bagel Emporium in Armonk accustomed to starting their day with coffee and a bagel will have to make alternate plans after a fire destroyed the store’s interior last Saturday and damaged a neighboring business.
The Armonk Fire Department responded to the blaze that broke out at the shop at 391 Main St. just before 1 p.m.
“The fire was pretty extensive throughout The Bagel Emporium,” said Armonk Fire Chief Phil Goulet. “There was heavy smoke when we arrived and heavy fire throughout the ceiling area, so unfortunately it destroyed most of The Bagel Emporium.”
While the majority of the fire was contained in that space, firefighters needed to perform an overhaul in the neighboring Broadway North Pizza, Goulet said, which includes opening walls and ceilings to ensure that the fire didn’t spread. There was no fire damage in the pizzeria but Goulet said that it will be closed for repairs.
The stores were open at the time but everyone inside was able to exit the premises. There were no injuries to the public or to firefighters, he said.
About 100 firefighters, including many from 10 surrounding departments supplying mutual aid, responded to the scene, according to Goulet. It took about two hours to get the fire under control, he said.
Goulet said the investigation revealed that the fire started in the area of the hood above the grill and extended through the roof and partially into the pizzeria. It was ruled to be accidental.
Closure of the two businesses, located in the middle of the block in the heart of downtown Armonk, will have an impact on the hamlet, said Supervisor Michael Schiliro. He said it is a hardship for The Bagel Emporium and Broadway North Pizza but also to the town because they add to the business community’s vitality.
“It’s part of people’s lives,” Schiliro said. “It’s not like other businesses in town aren’t, but it’s like a lot of people may start the day there at 6 a.m. and then maybe getting something towards midnight. It’s part of the fabric of the community.”
Schiliro said Sunday he spoke to the owner of The Bagel Emporium and planned to do so with Broadway North Pizza owner as soon as possible. He anticipated that the bagel store space will require a full gutting, which Schiliro said could take at least three months. He is hopeful the pizzeria will reopen sometime before that.
The town will look to help both merchants any way it can, including expediting permits to the extent that it can, the supervisor said.
Meanwhile, Schiliro commended the volunteer firefighters from Armonk and the neighboring departments who limited what could have been a devastating blow for the downtown had the fire not been contained as successfully as it was.
“When you observe them, they’re all dropping whatever they have to do and come help our community, whether they live in our community or not,” Schiliro said. “They’re at the top of that specter of just doing the right thing, so they can’t be commended enough.”