Schenectady business owners say Jay Street fire has affected operations

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– As the investigation into Friday’s fire on Jay Street continues, local business owners are voicing concerns about how the incident is effecting their businesses.

The buildings on either side of 100 and 104 Jay St. remained blocked off Tuesday. Local business owners say they haven’t been able to go in to assess the damage or gather their belongings.

“It’s an unsafe building. So just making that safe for our people is our priority. So it’s all been a challenge,” said Schenectady Fire Chief Raymond Senecal.

Ashok Mirpuri owns the buildings on either side. He says he’s reached out to the fire department, the city, and ATF but hasn’t been able to get an answer on when or if his tenants will be able to return.

“We don’t know if we’re going to have a building. We don’t know if we’re going to be able to take our items out of the building. How do I pay my employees? Who’s stepping up to help the businesses that have been affected as well. And that’s my frustration,” he said.

Business owner Janette Massaro opened the restaurant Bel Cibo just days before the fire.

“I in no way want to diminish the tragedy that happened here. I cannot express that enough. However, I have employees, they have employees and their lives are effected by this as well,” said Massaro.

Massaro says she has also reached out to authorities, but gotten no where.

“We don’t know if we’re going to have a building. We don’t know if we’re going to be able to take our items out of the building. How do I pay my employees? Who’s stepping up to help the businesses that have been effected as well?”

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