Vendor Calls West Side Market Fire ‘Horrendous’

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CLEVELAND -- The cause of Wednesday morning’s fire at the West Side Market remains a mystery, leaving Brian Foster out of work.

Foster has worked at the market for decades and his shop, Foster’s Meats, was one of two completely destroyed by the fire.

”It’s gone. The stand is gone,” he said. “Didn’t know what to think, honestly, just the amount of damage it did to the two stands was horrendous.”

The fire started at the northwest end of the market at neighbor Sebastian’s Meats.

While the investigation is still ongoing, the cause appears to be accidental, said Maureen Harper, chief of communications for the City of Cleveland.

The northwest end of the market remains covered in ash and soot, even up to the ceiling.

The fire also cracked a column near the meat vendors. Harper said that damage will not compromise the structure of the building. The city is also expediting the process of repairing and cleaning up any damage.

However, Foster worries that may not come soon enough. He believes it may be months before he will return to work.

“Hopefully they’ll get the market cleaned up in a decent amount of time,” Foster said. “I’ve got to go in and assess what’s not there anymore to replace. Hopefully my other stand will be, within a couple of weeks, operational enough maybe I can work out of one stand and at least do something.”

Doors at West side Market will remain closed indefinitely. However, Harper said produce vendors are allowed to resume business on Friday. The produce section is in a separate building, located north of the main market.

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