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Bedford Avenue Buildings Ravaged by Fire Vacated Indefinitely

By Meredith Hoffman | January 26, 2013 9:03am

WILLIAMSBURG — Three buildings on Bedford Avenue have been vacated indefinitely after a massive fire Tuesday that began on the first floor of 175 Bedford Ave. in the Cross County Savings Bank's wiring.

Residential tenants, as well as the popular restaurant Ella Cafe and the Cross County Savings Bank are now prohibited from returning to their spaces in 173, 175 and 177 Bedford Ave., the Department of Buildings has ordered.

Workers began gutting 173 Bedford Ave. Friday afternoon, and some workers said that it would likely "take months" before the structures would be ready for tenants to return.

The vacate orders resulted from a four-alarm fire caused by the faulty wiring in the walls of Cross County Savings Bank, fire officials said. Nearly 200 firefighters fought the blaze, and two firefighters suffered injuries when the bank's ceiling collapsed.

About 10 blocks away, popular cafe Oslo Coffee, at 328 Bedford Ave., also remained shuttered Friday after a fire there earlier this month. There was no word on when it would reopen.