by Georgia Slater
A four-alarm fire tore through several stores at Village Plaza Shopping Center on Sept. 1, leaving businesses unsure about their futures.
Businesses affected included Salon South, Racquets Etc., Karate N Motion, JK Nails, La Casa Pizzeria and Westwood Cleaners.
According to thealternativepress.com, the Westfield Fire Department responded to an 11:24 a.m. call. Upon arrival, the firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke at Karate N Motion, where most of the structural damage occurred. While much of JK Nails was also destroyed, a firewall prevented the flames from entering other stores.
Said Racquets Etc. Owner, Mr. Jim Augis: “We are currently going through a total renovation…. There is a tremendous amount that still needs to be accomplished before we can re-open, hopefully by the end of September.”
Next door at La Casa Pizzeria, owners Mr. Franco Diwane and Mr. Hassan Diwane estimate that they lost about $10,000 in food inventory, according to thealternativepress.com.
The restaurant has now reopened for business.
Westwood Cleaners also sustained smoke and water damage but none of its customers’ clothes were ruined, according to its Facebook page.
Said Augis: “We are very grateful for all the support we have received…. Emails and phone calls have strengthened our resolve to return.”