An early morning fire in Hartford destroyed a neighborhood grocery store and damaged two other businesses.
The fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m. on Wednesday at the corner of Barbour and Judson Streets.
"I was awake, and we were just laying down on my bed and we heard a little crackle," said Alexze Baez, who dialed 911. "We first thought it was snow and then we looked outside the window and it just was on fire. It was just crazy."
Jack Cothron, a neighbor, said he was said to hear that Big Star Market was gone. He said he occasionally shopped there.
"They're nice people," he said. "They just want to make a living and support their families."
Video from an eyewitness showed flames shooting out of the roof.
"It was unsafe to enter the building at that time due to the volume of fire so they setup an exterior operation and we used the hose streams from outside to knock the fire down," said Chief Scott Brady, Hartford Fire Department.
No one was inside at the time and no injuries were reported.
Firefighters said they had to attack the fire from the outside. Eversource also responded to de-energize the building.
Afterward, they were seen thoroughly checking all of the businesses in the area. They said the building was uninhabitable.
The market and vacant residential space above it were completely destroyed. The two other businesses, a barber shop and a restaurant, had smoke and water damage.
Cothron said he hopes the neighborhood will rally behind the businesses to help them get back on their feet.
"If you all can rebuild, we'll keep shopping with you, and we'll keep trying to support you, and we'll do everything we can for them," he said. "But believe me, I just pray that they don't just give up and leave us."
The fire marshal's office and state police are investigating the cause of the fire.
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