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Deputy Fire Chief Kelly: 'Cause of Fire Ruled Undetermined'

Kelly said the fire began above the bathrooms at Clyne & Murphy, in the dining room.

The cause of the that began late Sunday afternoon at South Avenue West caterers has been ruled undetermined, according to Deputy Fire Chief David Kelly who was at the scene Tuesday morning. 

The fire, which gutted neighboring businesses including , ,  and began above the bathrooms at Clyne & Murphy's in the dining room, Kelly said.

"At this time we don't believe it was intentionally set," Kelly said.

The deputy chief noted that while the fire department has been unable to pinpoint a cause, they have been able to determine that it does not appear to be suspicious.

Despite the bright sunshine, the mood on South Avenue West was mournful as business owners expected to see their former establishments leveled by a bulldozer.

Plans to knock down the buildings was postponed for as further investigation by insurance companies continues.

Standing in front of the rubble that was once his livelihood, Matt Zaitz, owner of Unmasked, which opened 18 months ago, said he has been living "a nightmare" since Sunday.

"It's going to be a long few months," he said.

Bill Root, who has owned of the property on which the buildings stood for nearly half a century, was emotional at the sight of the devastation but said he hopes to rebuild on the site.

Sherry Cronin, executive director of the , said she wants to help business owners find new locations as quickly as possible.

Cronin also noted that while the situation is tragic, Westfielders are reaching out to one another in their time of need.

and XOcolatz have offered jobs to the staff at Clyne & Murphy, she said, as they did following the .

More than $6,500 had been raised overnight for Sound Station owners Bob Larsen and Liz Walsh through an online fundraising site http://www.indiegogo.com/helpsoundstation.

Grace January 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Please keep Sam Cugno in your thoughts. Not only have they lost Figaro's, but he's now in the hospital having broken his hip in a fall...
South Westfielder January 25, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Grace, thanks for letting us who care so much about Sam and Susan know. This must hav been an awful week and I wish for them joy soon. They are both wonderful, wonderful people.
Liz Alterman January 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Hi Sally, I'm looking into that and will post something as soon as I have more information. Thanks, Liz
Steve January 26, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Sam! Please get better and know that many people are pulling for you. Once that bum hip is fixed up and you are recovered I expect to see a new shop and you behind the chair snipping away for many more years. Just recently I asked you if you ever think of retiring and you said "no" and these are jest temporary setbacks for you. Prayers for you and your wife.
westfieldlvr February 22, 2012 at 08:57 PM
OMG I am so happy to have found your site. My family and I have been going to Lucia at Rocky the Tailor for a long time. When I heard about this I have been so worried about her. Does anyone know if she is alright? And is there anything we can all do to help the businesses affected by this fire?

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