Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on April 18, 2013 @ 7:11PM
Created on April 18, 2013 @ 5:53PM
Wednesday there was a fire in a complex on Johnson Avenue with restaurants, stores, and offices.
It started around 7 o'clock Wednesday night and affected the entire building. 5 News went out to the scene Thursday to see how owners and fire officials are handling the damage.
There were a lot people out there trying to figure out what their next steps are going to be, considering most of the complex is considered a total loss. The south end appeared to have the least amount of damage, but smoke and water still affected the inside.
"Pretty shocked. Pretty upset. Pretty traumatizing," said Jeffrey Browning, Owner of Total Dental.
Owners said they were gone when it happened, but told 5 News what they saw when they came back.
"It looked like there was some fire right at the middle of the Total Dental sign and not long after that the entire roof took off," said Bernie Teyssier, Owner of Vino e Vita.
Fire officials said just because that's where the first bit of fire was seen, doesn't mean it started there.
"That's where the worst burn is, but it's a common attic from the front here at the dental clear to the back. and realistically with a common attic the fire could have started anywhere throughout the building," said Chief Chuck Feathers, Bridgeport Fire Department.
It took crews hours to get the blaze under control, but the fire chief said it was because of where the fire was located.
"We had no problem with water last night. This town has one of the best water systems in it of most towns around," said Chief Feathers.
Even with this devastating loss, owners are still hopeful for the future.
"We're out of commission for a little while, but we'll be back, back up and running. Get back open and take care of our patients as soon as we can," said Browning.
"We're just kind of taking a pragmatic approach to it right now, figure out where we are and make a determination if we can reopen here or if we have to go somewhere else," Teyssier.
Owners said their next step is to secure the building to prevent any further damage and then they'll see where to go from there.
The United Rehab Center released a statement saying their Bridgeport facility is closed. The one in Clarksburg on 300 Davisson Run Road is still open. And starting Monday, those of you who usually go to the one in Bridgeport can go to the 5th floor of the United Hospital Center instead. For more information, call 304- 842-3898.
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