Updated 03/07/2012 01:13 PM
"Suspicious" Four-Alarm Fire Destroys Brooklyn Business
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Investigators are looking into what they are calling a suspicious four-alarm fire in Brooklyn that gutted a decades-old wedding and event planning business Wednesday morning.
The New York City Fire Department says flames broke out around 4:15 a.m. and quickly spread inside a one-story commercial building located at 1716 West 6th Street in Gravesend.
At one point, firefighters were ordered out of the building as flames filled the entire structure, causing the roof to collapse.
Fire officials say due to the intensity of the fire and time it took to put out the flames they are deeming it suspicious.
"Heavy on arrival building was all locked up in the early morning hours. So these are all indicators of a possible incendiary fire. Fire marshals are here and will do their investigation and talk to the owner," said FDNY Assistant Chief Ronald Spadafora.
The building, which was reduced to a shell by late Wednesday morning, had housed Dalmazio event planners, a family-owned business that's been around for 35 years.
"It's like losing a family member. It's like being at a funeral, a wake," said business owner Sandra Dalmazio.
"They're wedding planners. They do wonderful, wonderful weddings, parties and events. Actually she was just telling me that there's invitations that were in there for a bride that need to go out today," said one witness at the scene.
Dalmazio says she doesn't know how long it will take to recover, but says she's determined to, starting with phone calls to customers whose orders will be delayed.
One person was taken to a local hospital for minor smoke inhalation.
No firefighters were injured.
Surrounding buildings also suffered significant smoke and water damage.