Large Fire Destroys Businesses in Downtown Lawrence

No injuries have been reported, but the building is a total loss, fire officials said

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A fire broke out in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and crews spent hours Friday morning battling the flames.

The building fire was on Essex Street, and massive plumes of smoke were seen billowing Friday morning. A package store and bakery occupied the building that was torn apart by major flames.

Lawrence's fire chief said that the building was a total loss, and that the alarm originally came from the bakery. It's not clear, however, where the fire actually started.

There was a heavy response from firefighters at the scene, as ladder trucks were used to hose down the building. Part of the structure has collapsed.

The fire began around 4 a.m., and no injuries have been reported.

A package store and bakery occupy the building that was torn apart by major flames.

The owner of the bakery said after the fire that she plans to rebuild, but obviously it had been a tough morning for her.

“Always busy, we work seven days a week and I feel very sorry for my customers this week, their parties," the bakery's owner Danaris Mazara said. "It’s difficult for them and for us.”

Mazara has owned Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes for 10 years. She has 20 employees who were all at the bakery Friday morning.

“They are here supporting me in this day," Mazara said. "It’s been very difficult but I feel the support from the community and support from them.”

Firefighters were on scene for hours after the fire broke out.

“This is another case where sprinklers, both buildings were non-sprinklered, would have had sprinklers in these sprinklers we wouldn’t have this situation right now," Chief Brian Moriarty of the Lawrence Fire Department said.

State Rep. Francisco Paulino said local leaders will do what they can to help the business rebuild.

"We are going to help them to come back stronger," Rep. Paulino said. "That’s what we are Lawrence.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Lawrence Fire Department.

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