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Fire sparked by coffee pot damages downtown stores

A coffee pot sparked a lunchtime fire Thursday at Engraver's World on the downtown stretch of the Post Road, seriously damaging the two-story commercial building that also houses a clothing store and jewelry store.

"It was the coffee pot, it just melted and the fire started in seconds," said Al de Vidas, owner of Engraver's World at 1555 Post Road. "I called 911 and they came right away."

De Vidas said he alerted the building's other tenants, and everyone got out safely.

Fire Chief Richard Felner said the first firefighters to arrive at the scene found heavy, black smoke pouring from the building, and flames on the second floor. "There was heavy fire in the back of the building," Felner said.

He said there were no materials in Engraver's World that would require a hazmat cleanup.

In addition to Fairfield, firefighters from Westport and Bridgeport were dispatched to the scene, along with trucks from the town's volunteer fire companies.

De Vidas said he's owned the store for 36 years, but was taking a philosophical approach to Thursday's fire. "It happens," he said. "Everybody's safe, that's the important thing."

He said he does not know if he will reopen until he can assess the extent of the damage.

The other tenants in the building include Midas Touch Jewelers and Fairfield Clothiers, plus a pilates studio on second floor. All of them suffered at least some damage from the fire, according to fire sources.

While firefighting perations were underway, the usually busy Post Road was closed to traffic from Reef Road west Miller Street.

Spectators lined the sidewalk across the Post Road, many taking photos and videos with cellphones.

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