Most of the 10 second-floor businesses and two apartments damaged by the three-alarm fire in downtown Burlingame Wednesday appear to be gutted beyond repair.
The fire at 1227-1241 Burlingame Ave. and 240-250 Park Road caused $1.3 million in structural damages and much more in internal property loss. It also displaced two residents.
Ceilings of the top-floor businesses were destroyed because of firefighting in the attic above. The fire destroyed virtually all equipment that was not in file cabinets and desks, property owner Roger Reinhart said.
“It doesn’t look good for them right now,” Reinhart said about the owners returning to businesses there. “The owners are just so relieved that none of the tenants are hurt.”
Dan Rivard, owner of Performing Arts for Youth Society, at 1229 Burlingame Ave., said he’d have to work from home while looking for another office space.
“It’s pretty much destroyed. The ceiling is caved in,” Rivard said.
Bill Patchett, owner of the Treescape business at 1229 Burlingame Ave. No. 7, was one of the few people in the structure when the fire started. Patchett and others were able to salvage some materials Thursday.
“[My store] is gone. It’s trashed,” Patchett said. “It completely ruined all my files. Everything is destroyed.”
Patchett has a new location secured in San Mateo. A Realtor friend called him after seeing his name in the newspaper Thursday and offered him an office.
The two displaced residents had places to stay while their apartments are inhabitable, and the Red Cross is also assisting them, said Central County Fire Marshal Rocque Yballa.
Three of the five first-floor businesses, which endured only water damage from the firefighting, will be back up and running once utilities can be restored, Yballa said.
Papyrus, at 1227 Burlingame Ave. — the far end of the structure — was able to reopen Thursday morning.
Stores nearby were back to business as usual Thursday, following several closures of roads near the fire the previous afternoon and evening.
“I’m going to try to air this place out,” said Michelle Sidone, manager of Yves Delorme at 232 Park Road, which was separated from the fire by an alley. “It’s a shame because we have fine French linens, and smoke tends to linger.”
Sakae Sushi and Grill at 240 Park Road should be able to reopen soon as well, Reinhart said. For now, a note greets visitors on the store’s door: “Thank you to the fire department for saving our business.”