Dortoni Bakery workers get out when fire strikes nail salon next door in Levittown strip mall

Dortoni Bakery workers get out when fire strikes nail salon next door in Levittown strip mall
Dortoni Bakery workers get out when fire strikes nail salon next door in Levittown strip mall

A blaze swept through two businesses at a Levittown strip mall early Saturday morning, sending workers at a nearby bakery fleeing, according to a witness and officials.

A fire reported at 5:45 a.m. erupted at a nail salon and florist at the Levittown Plaza on Hempstead Turnpike, but responding firefighters brought it under control within an hour, according to Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro.

No injuries were reported and the damage was limited to several buildings.

Photos from the scene show plumes of smoke billowing from businesses.

At Dortoni Bakery, about 20 overnight employees evacuated after the nail salon next door ignited, according to Donnie Messina, one of the owners of the fifth-generation family-run business who rushed to his shop after an employee called him.

Messina saw a chaotic scene with 150 firefighters from the Levittown Fire Department and six mutual aid fire companies working to extinguish the blaze.

“Our night crew saw this. “They smelled the smoke and they went outside and saw the flames coming out of the walls,” Messina said, adding his shop was not impacted and was operating normally. This was the first time since the bakery’s inception that a fire hit so close.

“It’s truly a Christmas miracle because we’re all okay,” he said, thanking the firefighters for their quick efforts. “We’re really blessed.”

Uttaro said strip mall fires were challenging due to the possibility of flames spreading through the cocklofts, or common areas above the ceiling.

“In this case the fire department was able to employ aggressive tactics and cut holes in the roof to stop the fire from spreading horizontally,” Uttaro said.

The vacant nail salon and florist had serious smoke and water damage from the fire, Uttaro said. Other stores had some smoke damage.

A blaze swept through two businesses at a Levittown strip mall early Saturday morning, sending workers at a nearby bakery fleeing, according to a witness and officials.

A fire reported at 5:45 a.m. erupted at a nail salon and florist at the Levittown Plaza on Hempstead Turnpike, but responding firefighters brought it under control within an hour, according to Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro.

Photos from the scene show plumes of smoke billowing from businesses.

At Dortoni Bakery, about 20 overnight employees evacuated after the nail salon next door ignited, according to Donnie Messina, one of the owners of the fifth-generation family-run business who rushed to his shop after an employee called him.

Messina saw a chaotic scene with 150 firefighters from the Levittown Fire Department and six mutual aid fire companies working to extinguish the blaze.

“Our night crew saw this. “They smelled the smoke and they went outside and saw the flames coming out of the walls,” Messina said, adding his shop was not impacted and was operating normally. This was the first time since the bakery’s inception that a fire hit so close.

“It’s truly a Christmas miracle because we’re all okay,” he said, thanking the firefighters for their quick efforts. “We’re really blessed.”

Uttaro said strip mall fires were challenging due to the possibility of flames spreading through the cocklofts, or common areas above the ceiling.

“In this case the fire department was able to employ aggressive tactics and cut holes in the roof to stop the fire from spreading horizontally,” Uttaro said.

The vacant nail salon and florist had serious smoke and water damage from the fire, Uttaro said. Other stores had some smoke damage.