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Fire Threatens East Village Eatery's Beloved Jazz Collection

By Janon Fisher | April 21, 2013 5:35pm | Updated on April 21, 2013 11:31pm

EAST VILLAGE — Shooting flames and blasting water threatened to ruin a precious 30,000 Jazz LP collection during a two-alarm roof fire early Sunday morning at the East 4th Street restaurant Mono+Mono, witnesses and fire officials said.

Workers in the hip Korean eatery, which is known for its extensive record library and fried chicken, noticed smoke coming from a wooden structure on the roof at about 1 a.m. Sunday morning, said the manager Andy Song.

Flames jumped 35 feet according to witnesses, and destroyed the restaurant's rooftop air conditioning and exhaust units which were sheltered by the wooden structure.

The heat from the blaze was so intense that it knocked out windows to the Hells Angels' East 3rd Street headquarters, which sits directly behind the restaurant.

The biker gang was having a loud barbecue in their backyard when the fire broke out, according to neighbors.

Several men wearing T-shirts with the club's winged death's head declined to comment as they removed charred debris from their building.

Fire investigators do not currently believe the cause is suspicious. More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, which was brought under control at about 2:20 a.m.

Later Sunday morning, melted air conditioning window units and windows shattered from the heat could be seen in the buildings that abut the restaurant.

The restaurant manager said that he believed most of the records survived despite the water damage and withering flames.

"Most of the LPs are fine, some of them were damaged by the water," he said. "Luckily, nobody was hurt," Song said. "We hope to be back up and running in a month."