Businesses begin cleanup after Flatbush fire

FLATBUSH - Owners of a row of Flatbush businesses have begun to sort through the rubble after their shops were damaged by a fire over the weekend.

A uniform store, a Chinese restaurant, a Chase bank branch and a bagel shop were all gutted by the fire that broke out early Sunday, officials say. Nearby Brooklyn's Best Hardware was largely protected by a firewall that was installed years ago.

Alan Butrico, owner of the hardware shop, says firefighters had to tear through some of his walls and doors to get to the fire, and says his business was damaged by smoke and water. He says he's hired a salvage company to sort through his merchandise and he hopes to reopen within a week.

Armed guards removed safe deposit boxes from the Chase bank on Wednesday, officials said.

The three-alarm fire was sparked by a stove in the Chinese restaurant, according to fire investigators. No one was injured.

4 businesses destroyed in Flatlands fire

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