Vendors Coping with Aftermath of West Side Market Fire

Fire at Sebastian Meats in the West Side Market
  • Fire at Sebastian Meats in the West Side Market

An overnight fire inside the West Side Market damaged Sebastian Meats and Foster's Meats - two stands located within the landmark building.

The market is shut down pending cleanup and inspections by safety officials, possibly for the next two weeks.

Your plans to shop at the West Side Market will have to wait until further notice. The fire department received a call for help at the corner of West 25th Street and Lorain Road in Ohio City around 2:30 a.m. The market has been closed today due to heavy smoke from a fire at Sebastian Meats stall.

"We are closed today and not allowed in. Don't know if we will be open this weekend," Tom McIntyre of Kate's Fish says.

Reports regarding damage from vendors are wide ranging. The Health Department will assess the situation at each stand before the vendors know exactly what their losses are. It doesn't help that this happened right before Super Bowl weekend, which will affect menu plans for consumers and restaurants alike.

Health inspectors are on site and continuing to parse out the cause of the fire. An inventory of foods that need to be discarded is being taken this afternoon, according to Karen Butler, director of the city's Health Department.

Public Works Director Mike Cox joined other city officials at a 2:30 p.m. news conference.

"The damage that we had was not as severe as it could have been. And no one was hurt," he said. "There are no hazards to the public or hazards to the buildings at this time."

No new information is expected today from city officials, though they said they are working to reopen the market as soon as possible.

According to Fox 8 reports:

“We had a fire in one of the stands inside the West Side Market — Sebastian’s Meats,” said Asst. Fire Chief Mike Darnell. “It burned up the one stand and heavily damaged the rest of the building with smoke.”
Mike Cox, Director of Public Works for the City of Cleveland, told Fox 8′s Stacey Frey the market would be closed on Wednesday. The produce building, which sustained no smoke damage, will also be closed.

“I mean I feel bad for everybody,” said Rick Calabrese, owner of Calabrese Produce. “But the health department has to do their thing. The fire department has to do their thing and check everything out. It’s a waiting game, see what happens. Hopefully we can get back in the building tomorrow and get back to action for Friday and Saturday.”

According to Darnell, there were no injuries in the fire.
“There’s no structural damage at all to the West Side Market. It’s just the one stand burned up and charred and singed the roof above it,” Darnell said.

Darnell said the Health Department will have to investigate the product at each stand.

“Almost all of the stands are filled with meat and bakery at this time,” he said. “There are large coolers in the basement. Most of that stuff wasn’t damaged but all the stuff that was sitting in the individual coolers for sale getting ready to open up in the morning, that was damaged.”

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