Mill Basin shop owners pick up pieces after blaze

Shop owners surveyed the damage Monday left in the wake of a fire that tore through part of the Mill Basin shopping center the day before.

Firefighters believe the fire at the Avenue A strip mall began at La Villa Pizzeria. The fire may have started above the pizzeria's ovens before spreading to other stores. Another restaurant and a dry cleaners were also severely damaged in the blaze.

Alfredo Tiscipio, the owner of the pizzeria, wasn't working when the fire started. He examined the damage Monday.

"I'm still absorbing it. I'm not even sure what went on. I feel like it's fake - like someone died," said Tiscipio.

Jerry Patel, the owner of Stage Cards, which sustained slight damage but remained open for business, said that patrons are still talking about the fire. He also said that most are hoping the popular pizza place will reopen soon.

Shopping center fire damages several stores

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