Fire at York bakery causes an estimated $5 million in shopping mall damage

YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- A raging fire at a plaza in York left an estimated $5 million in damage and business owners out of shop.

Officials say the fire broke out around 4:50 a.m. at Panaderia La Redencion bakery in the 100 block of North Duke Street in York city.

An investigation revealed the fire was caused by "spontaneous combustion of rags" in the office of the bakery.

All businesses within the shopping center are closed as a result of smoke damage throughout the mall.

Business owners say they are still coming to terms with what was lost.

"I was just completely heartbroken about all the damage that was done," said Halman Smith, whose family owns Comfort Zone Mattress.

"The ceiling tiles are all down the fixtures that were in there are all down all the floors are filled with water," said Montika Smith.

The bakery, Metro PCS and York Drug Mart suffered the majority of the fire damage.

All 9 businesses were left with either smoke or water damage.

"Our storage area where we store customer orders is completely damaged with water," added Smith.

Construction crews say they spent more than 16 hours on boarding up.

"Securing up windows, putting tarps on roofs, making sure locks are in place, so that no one can get access into the building, protecting their investment," said Bryan Scott, Director of claim services, C&Z Construction.

Before businesses can get back on their feet, officials say structural engineers will need to come in as well as city officials to make sure everything is repaired to code.

Smith says regardless of the situation, she's going to find a way to keep things going -- even if it means working from home.

"Customers were asking when is my bed coming in and I was like oh it's coming in Monday!"

Luckily, no one was seriously injured.

The owner of Panaderia La Redencion Bakery was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and was later released.

Officials say it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to get everything back up and running.

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