Roaster Fire Shuts Down Carroll Gardens Coffee Shop

By Elizabeth Hagen on October 3, 2012 7:29pm 

BROOKLYN — A fire inside a coffee roaster at D'Amico Foods in Carroll Gardens forced the shop to evacuate and shut down on Wednesday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 3:20 p.m. at the shop on Court Street, which has been in business since 1938, prompting more than 60 firefighters to respond to the scene, fire officials said.

"We were roasting, and we noticed something not right, some smoke, and tried to shut It down," said Joan D'Amico, 56, who with her husband, Frank Jr., has run the store for more than 20 years. "But the smoke just accumulates very quickly. You know, it's coffee beans."
 
Fire officials said there was no damage to the building. The fire was contained within the shop's coffee roaster, and no one in the store was hurt.
 
But how much damage the roaster sustained remains to be seen.
 
"That's our livelihood," D'Amico said of the 18-year-old roaster, which she said would cost about $30,000 to replace. "So we don't really know what's going to happen to us now."
 
Outside the store, nine sacks of coffee beans, weighing 150 pounds each, lay on the sidewalk, unable to be moved inside. Joan and her husband said they don't yet know when the store will
be up and running again.

When a customer walked up wanting coffee, Joan apologized, tears welling up in her eyes.
 
"Sorry," she said. "I don't know when you'll be getting coffee. Hopefully soon."
 
Danny, 76, who declined to give his last name, was inside when the roaster started smoking. He said he comes to the store for coffee every day from his home in Bay Ridge. 
 
"I know them all my life. Beautiful people," he said.

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