Devastating fire in downtown Canandaigua

A devestating fire on South Main Street may jeopardize a new business that neighbors hoped would revitalize that section of downtown Canandaigua. Canandaigua, Hopewell and Cheshire firefighters responded this afternoon to a fire at 151 South Main Street. Smoke was reported coming from the building at about 12:45 p.m. The fire appears to have started on the third floor of the three-story structure, which formerly housed the Rose Corner Restaurant. There is no official word today on what caused the fire or how much damage the building sustained. Sue Welch was planning to open the Gateway Grill Restaurant on the first floor of the building in about three weeks. She smelled smoke and “up it went,” said Welch, who alerted a female tenant on the second floor. Both were able to escape the building safely, she said. “Three weeks away from opening — it’s a devastating loss,” said Welch. Jessica Bradley of Canandaigua said she was across the street from the building when she heard a kid scream, “‘Oh my god that building is on fire.'” “There was smoke pouring out of the building,” Bradley said. Penelope Pankow, who owns F. Oliver’s a few doors away, was returning to her store when she saw the smoke. Many business owners on the block were excited by the prospect of having a new restaurant on the block, Pankow said. “We’re hoping it will still happen,” Pankow said. “But, oh darn, one more thing to slow down downtown development.” No injuries have been reported, although several firefighters received treatment at the scene. A portion of Main Street was closed in the norhtbound lane.

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