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5-Alarm fire on White Plains Road leaves business owners

 

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Seven stores leveled in last week’s fire; surviving stores too damaged to enterFirefighters secure White Plains Road between 225th St.and 226th St. a day after several Bronx stores were destroyed by 5-alarm fire.

Firefighters secure White Plains Road between 225th St.and 226th St. a day after several Bronx stores were destroyed by 5-alarm fire.

The 5-alarm blaze that leveled a commercial strip along White Plains Road has left business owners and the surrounding community reeling.

The fire, which started in a garage behind the row of locally-owned businesses, left a gaping hole on what was once a bustling block.

“All we can do now is wait,” said a shocked Kenia Castillo a day after the fire. Castillo owned Castillo Grocery on the corner of 226th St.

“I have four employees that are out of work now. I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Castillo, who emigrated from the Dominican Republic almost 20 years ago, stood across the street from her beloved store, staring at the damage in disbelief.

Neighbors and customers stopped to hug the petite 38-year-old, offering kind words and well wishes, and reminiscing about the food Castillo’s workers would serve up.

“I have been going there ever since I can remember,” said 36-year-old Princess Owoeye.

“It’s more than just a deli it’s a part of the neighborhood. I stop there every day with my daughter because she loves the egg and cheese sandwiches.”

Castillo said no amount of insurance could replace the satisfaction she felt as she served up sandwiches to her friends and neighbors over the last 12 years.

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