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Foodtown Giving Away Free Groceries After Fire Sweeps Through, Owner Says

By  Ethan Harfenist and Aidan Gardiner | November 25, 2015 8:49am | Updated on November 25, 2015 12:41pm

MANHATTAN — A grocer was planning to give away some of his merchandise ahead of Thanksgiving after a fire tore through his supermarket in Sugar Hill Wednesday morning, he said.

Bill Estevez was still assessing the damage about 9 hours after flames tore through the rear of his Foodtown 756 St. Nicholas Ave., near West 148th Street, about 1:17 a.m.

It wasn't immediately clear how much food was damaged or what he'd have to give away to keep from spoiling.

"it's something we're planning, but I have no other information," Estevez said.

"We want to be able to provide for our customers," he added.

Foodtown Fire

Workers clean up after the Wednesday morning fire. (DNAinfo/Ethan Harfenist)

It took 145 firefighters to bring the blaze under control by 3:30 a.m., officials said.

One firefighter was treated for minor injuries at Mount Sinai St. Luke's, a spokesman said.

The grocery store was closed Wednesday morning until further notice ahead of Thanksgiving, the owner said.

"This is the worst time for this to happen. I'm lucky I did all my shopping yesterday," said neighbor John Moncuro, 60.

Other neighbors said they'd rely on other nearby grocery stores to prepare for their holiday feast.

Estevez assured that his store would quickly open again.

“We’ve been here through the good and the bad and we’ll be back as soon as possible," Estevez added.