The flames erupted in a restaurant on Bailey Avenue in Kingsbridge just after 11.30pm
It spread to several others, including two more restaurants and a grocery store on the corner.
Video showed powerful flames shooting from the roofs of the buildings.
It took firefighters about 90 minutes to put out the fire.
A firefighter was treated for a minor injury.
The FDNY Fire Marshals determined the cause of the fire was electrical wiring and determined it was an accident.
The loss was overwhelming for Jose Severino. His popular Latin restaurant was almost destroyed by a sea of water and the rafters were charred.
“It was bad, it was really bad,” Severino said.
The mom and pops on the block were just getting back on their feet after COVID.
In fact, in Severino’s case, he says the addition of indoor and outdoor dining meant he did a better business than ever before. Hard-won profits that melted away in a matter of minutes.
All of Severino’s 22 employees are now out of work.
“When you have a job and you feel like you’re making money, you contribute to your family because you have a job, and then you lose it in a minute,” he said.
Smoke alarms were present, but it is unknown if they were in operation.
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