By Heather Abraham

CHARLEROI (KDKA) – Fire threatened a business district early Wednesday morning in Washington County.

One Charleroi business was heavily damaged, but fire crews were able to save others.

The inside of Sezannaquinn’s is charred from the fire. The deli just opened over the summer and unfortunately, the fire chief said there was enough damage to cause some concern.

“Probably [going to] be some bad news. When it comes to restaurants, you got a lot of cleaning and there’s a lot of fire damage. It’s bad news,” Charleroi Fire Chief Robert Whiten Jr. said.

Earlier in the day, the owner stood by nervously waiting to go inside and inspect the damage. He was also worried about his sales tax records, which were inside.

The fire chief said whatever sparked the fire appears to have started in the basement and spread to the first floor.

“A passerby [saw] smoke coming out of the building. Fire department was dispatched and when we arrived, we had real heavy smoke conditions,” Chief Whiten Jr. said. “The damage was contained to the deli and the other two buildings had smoke damage.”

Containing the fire was one of the biggest priorities given the row of businesses and apartments above that line Fallowfield Avenue.

Chief Whiten Jr. praised the firefighters who kept the fire from spreading, but was sympathetic to the business owner.

“You feel bad for someone who’s trying to start out with a new business and having something like this happen,” Chief Whiten Jr. said.

The fire chief said the good news is that no one was hurt.

State Police fire marshals are handling the investigation.

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