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UPDATED: Overnight Fire in West Hartford Center Under Investigation

McLadden's Irish Publick House, Reuben's Deli, and Central Optica sustain damage from early morning blaze.

UPDATE 9:30 a.m.:

Business owners in West Hartford Center are cleaning up Tuesday morning after an overnight fire caused varying amounts of damage to their premises.

The fire reportedly began in the back of Reuben's Deli, which has been closed for business since June as it undergoes renovation and prepares to reopen as Thirty 5 Bar & Grille. Owner Brian Hersh said he originally planned to reopen the business in a few weeks, but now that date is "TBD."

"I give lots of props to the West Hartford Fire Department," Hersh, who had been at the scene since 1:45 a.m., said Tuesday morning. "They really nailed it and were delicate, minimizing damage," he said.

Hersh said he did not know how the fire started, and speculated that debris on the premises might have been a factor.

Stan Zyskowski, who owns Central Optica with his brother Carl, said he feels really fortunate. "The scenario could have been a lot more unfortunate had it not been caught in time," he said Tuesday morning.

Zyskowski said he arrived on the scene before 3 a.m., and found significant smoke and water in the building.

"But we averted a disaster," Zyskowski said. Crews from Service Master Simaan Services were there cleaning by 5 a.m., and although Central Optica will remain closed Tuesday, they plan to reopen for business on Wednesday.

McLadden's General Manager Bill Eason said that the restaurant is still awaiting an inspection from the health department, but he is confident that they will open on time at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. "We really didn't get any damage, just a little smoke but that's all gone now," Eason said.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Several West Hartford Center businesses have been affected by an early morning fire which appears to have started at , fire officials said.

According to a release issued by the , the fire was reported at 1:36 a.m. by employees of on LaSalle Road who were closing up for the night.

Upon arrival, officials said, the fire department found smoke coming into McLadden's from Reuben's Deli, at 35a LaSalle Rd., which is part of the same building. Reuben's has been closed for renovation since June after receiving a loan through Connecticut's Small Business Express (EXP) program.

According to Fire Battalion Chief Matt Stuart, firefighters "executed an aggressive attack on the fire," and the blaze was declared under control at 2:22 a.m.

Battalion Chief John Deckers said that firefighters had to break into Reuben's to attack the fire which was contained to the back of the building. McLadden's and received smoke and water damage. According to the battalion chief, McLadden's will likely be able to reopen once it is inspected by the health department today.

All West Hartford fire units responded to the incident, and UConn engine #1 was also at the scene. No injuries were reported.

Deckers said Tuesday morning that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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