Walking south on Harvard Street in Brookline, the smell of smoke began to mingle with the familiar scents of Chinese, Mexican, and Indian food, after a two-alarm fire at a kosher market near bustling Coolidge Corner.
No injuries were reported in the blaze, which broke out about 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Butcherie, but there was extensive smoke damage, particularly to perishable goods, fire officials said.
Michael Sullivan, acting chief of operations for the Brookline Fire Department, gave a preliminary estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 in damage at the Butcherie, a grocery, butchery, and catering business that has been a neighborhood staple since 1972.
The first alarm was sounded at 3:09 p.m.; the second at 3:18 p.m., Sullivan said.
The fire began in the back in a storage area where paper goods were kept.
“The fire spread very quickly -- as quickly as you see in the movies, like when someone puts gasoline,” said Alex Andreychenko, who has worked at the store for nearly two decades.
Sullivan said it took firefighters about 15 minutes to put out the fire. The cause is under investigation. Health inspectors will need to evaluate smoke damage before the market can reopen, he said.
Joshua Gelerman, one of the store’s owners, leaned against the store’s doorway to watch as firefighters filed in and out, lugging hoses and other equipment. A woman approached and hugged him. “It’s all going to be OK,” she told him.
Denice Goguen, director of catering for the market, promised the store will reopen.
“We’re one of the only kosher places around here, so the community really needs us,” she said. “We’ll definitely be back.”
Customers trying to shop after work will count on that. Several tried to enter the market even as firefighters shooed them away.
“If you’re here for the Butcherie, it’s not going to be open for a few more days,” Goguen told them with a smile.