UPPER WEST SIDE — A fire in the Upper West Side grocery store Zabar's left its famed cheese section and the upstairs housewares section closed Thursday.
A refrigerator fire on the first floor, near the restrooms, shortly after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday left a large part of the building on Broadway at 80th Street smoke damaged, manager Scott Goldshine said.
No one was in the building at the time of the fire and no one was hurt, he said.
The FDNY said it took 45 minutes to put out the fire, which left a strong smoky smell in the store this morning. My Upper West reporter Michael Erbsen was near the scene and reported smoke filling the entire shop and at least five firetrucks were called to respond.
Zabar's opened at its usual time, 8 a.m., Thursday morning. Customers found one of the sections cordoned off by caution tape and an ongoing log jam at the entrance after the second door was kept locked.
By midday, Zabar's' owners had brought in a large group of its cleaning staff to assist with the smoke damage upstairs.
Goldshine reassured anxious customers that the whole store would be open very soon, "within an hour," he estimated just before noon.
"It wasn't a big deal. It's a pain in the ass, but it wasn't a big deal," he said to downplay the situation.