Here is another article in our continuing series of things going on around Rochester.
New York City residents recently faced the devastating effects of two separate fires that destroyed four apartment buildings and left more than two dozen people injured. But on the other side of New York State, another gas explosion occurred in the early hours of March 29, causing an equally substantial amount of damage for the victims.
The fire began in East Rochester at 404 W. Commercial St., and the blaze destroyed two apartments located above the local pizza shop Surace Pizza and Subs, which was also engulfed in the fire. Additionally, according to 13 WHAM News, two victims were hospitalized with serious burns, but both are expected to pull through.
Even though the majority of fatal injuries and damaged residential buildings is most often attributed to cigarettes being discarded improperly, the Democrat & Chronicle has quoted East Rochester Fire Chief Mike Romach as stating that investigators are fairly certain the fire was caused by a gas explosion.
The details behind the explosion — where it occurred, and if it was caused by human error or by a sudden leaky pipe — will still take a long time to sort out, Romach also stated.
Although the fire broke out at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and was contained within an hour of the first firefighters arriving, the D&C notes that over 75 firefighters from districts across the county came to help. Romach explained that emergency crews were unable to enter the building because its structure was very weak and was likely to collapse, and extinguishing the fire from the outside of the building made it difficult to eliminate the flames before too much damage occurred.
According to the D&C, the building will have to be demolished completely. An online donation page has been created on gofundme.com for the Surace family, which owns and operates Surace Pizza and Subs. 13 WHAM News has noted that the Suraces are devastated by the recent fire — not only has the family run its local business in the building for the past 32 years, but they just spent $70,000 renovating the shop. Members of the community aim to raise $10,000 to help the family rebuild their beloved East Rochester establishment.