CLEVELAND– Officials say the West Side Market will be closed until further notice, after a fire broke out early Wednesday morning.
Officials also say the fire appears to be accidental. They’re investigating how it started.
The market was closed Wednesday after fire caused heavy smoke damage.
Firefighters were called to the West Side Market, which is located at the intersection of Lorain Ave. and W. 25th St. in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, around 2:30 a.m.
“We had a fire in one of the stands inside the West Side Market — Sebastian’s Meats,” said Asst. Fire Chief Mike Darnell. “It burned up the one stand and heavily damaged the rest of the building with smoke.”
*If you’re a vendor at the West Side Market, or know someone who is, please send pictures or video of the interior damage to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Cox, Director of Public Works for the City of Cleveland, told Fox 8’s Stacey Frey the market would be closed on Wednesday. The produce building, which sustained no smoke damage, will also be closed.
“I mean I feel bad for everybody,” said Rick Calabrese, owner of Calabrese Produce. “But the health department has to do their thing. The fire department has to do their thing and check everything out. It’s a waiting game, see what happens. Hopefully we can get back in the building tomorrow and get back to action for Friday and Saturday.”
Rob Pilch’s mother has owned Vera’s Bakery since 1975.
“Monday and Wednesday are generally less busy. The weekends are when we do the majority of business and so hopefully we’ll get back open for then,” Pilch said.
With the upcoming Super Bowl, vendors say they can’t afford to lose business.
“I mean it stinks,” Pilch said. “If we could get the weekend open that would be great. Just wait and see I guess.”
According to Darnell, there were no injuries in the fire.
“There’s no structural damage at all to the West Side Market. It’s just the one stand burned up and charred and singed the roof above it,” Darnell said.
Darnell said the Health Department will have to investigate the product at each stand.
“Almost all of the stands are filled with meat and bakery at this time,” he said. “There are large coolers in the basement. Most of that stuff wasn’t damaged but all the stuff that was sitting in the individual coolers for sale getting ready to open up in the morning, that was damaged.”