Fire destroys Flatbush Ave. homes, shops

Tenants and business owners searched through rubble Wednesday after a massive fire destroyed a row of Flatbush Avenue buildings Tuesday night.

Fire officials say the three-alarm blaze left several families homeless. The Jones family says their bathtub is filled with debris and their living room is unrecognizable. Though other families were able to salvage more of their possessions, neighbors say all of the residents are looking for places to stay.

A furniture store that opened just a few months ago was also severely damaged. The owner of Simms Tax Service, which is located next door to the furniture store, says the timing of the destructive flames couldn't be worse.

"I have a lot of concern for the others because everyone is trying to survive and it's not good, not good when you have big fires like this," Hyacinth Simms says.

The local business improvement district is helping the stores destroyed, though there is no word on when they will reopen. The FDNY is still investigating the cause of the fire.

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