Fire damages downtown Durham shops, apartments


The fire started just after 1 a.m. in the 100 block of East Chapel Hill Street in the Five Points area.

It took firefighters a while to extinguish the blaze at the Pizzeria Toro. Fire officials say the Bullseye Bicycle shop, The Cupcake Bar, and three apartments that were in the same century-old Morris building suffered smoke and water damage.

» Click here to view a map of the area «

Five residents in the apartments were evacuated, but no one was injured.

One of the residents said the historic building was one of the reasons he invested there.

"It's one of the oldest buildings, actually one of the newest renovations in downtown," apartment owner David Scarborough said. "They finished this renovation in September of last year and it was a new bright spot in downtown, so it's really a shame this happened this soon after completion."

The fire has been ruled accidental. Fire officials say it started in the roof of the building.

Meanwhile, the owner of Pizzeria Toro said that he plans to reopen as soon as he can.

It is the second fire at the restaurant this year. In April, a fire in the kitchen ventilation duct closed down the pizzeria for several days.

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