Cleveland, OH West Side Business Fire, Dec 1944

Fire Damages Four Stores on West Side

Four business establishments in a one-story West Side building were damaged in a $25,000, two-alarm fire and a city fireman was burned slightly while fighting a $6,000 blaze in two stores in the downtown area yesterday.

Four Stores Damaged.

Flames, starting in an undetermined manner in the basement of the John McDonough Café, 3472 W. 105th Street, spread to three other establishments in the brick building, resulting in two alarms—one at 7:50 a.m.—to Engine House 23 at W. 85th Street and Madison Avenue N.W.

Besides the café, the other stores damaged were the Ruxin Drug Co., at 3472, the Joseph Restifo shoe repair shop at 3464 and the Perfect Dry Cleaning Co. at 3462.

Acting Battalion Chief Theodore Brenyas estimated the total damage at $25,000—$15,000 to the contents of the four establishments and $10,000 to the building.

The drugstore, he reported, received $12,000 damage, the café $2,600, the shoe repair shop $300, and the cleaning company $100.

Brenyas said the flames spread quickly from the café basement to the basement of the adjoining drugstore, where firemen were forced to wait until gas meters could be turned off before attacking the blaze.

Firemen turned off the gas with the assistance of telephoned instructions from the East Ohio Gas Co.

Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH 25 Dec 1944