Blaze damages Forest Hill shops

Anamul Hoqu (l.), owner of Forest Hills Bagels, surveys the damage from a fire that severely damaged his store. No one was injured in the blaze, according to fire officials. Photo by Howard Koplowitz
By Howard Koplowitz

A fire tore through a six-story Queens Boulevard building Friday, damaging a bagel store on the first floor and an adjacent storefront, fire officials said.

A city Fire Department spokesman said Tuesday the fire appeared to have originated in the bagel store but fire officials did not know the cause.

There were no injuries from the fire, a spokesman for the city Fire Department said.

The spokesman said the blaze was confined to just the store on the first floor of the six-story building.

The blaze began at around 11:04 a.m. inside Forest Hills Bagels at 112-10 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, the spokesman said, and was extinguished two minutes later.

“We lost a lot of things,” said Anamul Hoqu, owner of Forest Hills Bagels, as he stood outside his damaged store near the 75th Avenue subway station, where flattened bags of Fritos, Cheez Doodles and potato chips littered the street.

Hoqu, who was not in the store at the time of the blaze, said three employees were working when the fire erupted, but they escaped without injury.

The fire also damaged the ceiling of Albert Shoe Repair, a business next to the convenience store.

“I just walked inside and everybody said ‘fire, fire, fire,’ so I went out,” said the owner of the shoe business who asked to be identified as Albert.

Albert said he estimated there was $5,000 in damage to his store.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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