Fire Destroys Shopping Strip
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 24- Firefighters battled a wind-fueled fire that tore through a row of businesses along East Burnside Avenue, destroying at least two stores and at least two other stores suffered extensive damage.
Officials say the blaze broke out at 10:35 a.m. on March 23, inside of Fino men's clothing store at the corner of Walton Avenue.
The fire quickly spread to an adjacent 99 cent store. Flames ripped through the roof of both businesses and both were completely destroyed.
A plume of black smoke hovered eerily over the Mount Hope neighborhood for the first hour of the blaze, before it dissipated into a white smoke that blended into the approaching clouds.
Fire officials could not confirm, but it appeared that a cell phone store was also destroyed in the three-alarm blaze.
Fire damaged the rear of at least two businesses-- a meat store and a fruit store.
Nearly 140 firefighters from 33 units fought back the flames and were able to save the Radio Shack, an Amalgamated Bank and a furniture store on the opposite corner from where the fire began.
The blaze was eventually brought under control at 2:27 p.m., but two tower ladders sprayed the smoldering pockets of fire for the rest of the afternoon.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals.
Fire marshals remain on the scene a day later and continue to investigate the blaze's origin.