HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP - More than 60 firefighters from 10 departments helped contain Sunday night's massive fire in Hadley, and what used to be a complex of 8 businesses is now smoldering rubble.
Among the shops burned to the ground was an international foods grocery store, a tattoo shop, a bakery, a dry cleaner, a martial arts studio and a computer repair business.
“I can't describe it, just 25 years of a great business just gone overnight,” said owner of College Pro Computers, Steve Marcil.
Marcil has owned his computer repair shop for more than two decades. On Monday, all that was left of his business was the sign.
“We were known for really good service, really good value. It was everything from making the machines, data copy, whatever it took, anti-virus work,” said Marcil on Rt. 9 on Monday.
Just before 8:00 Sunday night, an estimated half a million dollars worth of Marcil's equipment was destroyed when this route nine strip mall burned to the ground in Hadley.
Hak Jang lost his dry cleaning business. To his customers, Hak is known as "Harry;” but his aunt ran the cleaners for 20 years before he took it over in 2010. He told 22News he feels terrible about his customers' irreplaceable sentimental items that were lost in the fire.
“Last week, two ladies, they brought their wedding dress from 50 years ago with little stains. That's something I can't recover. That wedding dress was in there? Yeah,” said the owner of Hadley Dry Cleaners.
Just past noontime on Monday, about 17 hours since the fire started, firefighters were still having a tough time trying to contain hot spots.
- Photos: Fire at Hadley shopping plaza
“It's an older building, no real firewalls to speak of definitely no sprinkler system, all wood construction. It appears that there were multiple roofs put on over the years; which is common with older buildings. That gives void spaces for the fire to run we can't get it from above or below without digging at it,” said Amherst Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren.
Stromgren was among several supervisors called in, to help Hadley’s Fire Department, as part of special regional task force. Rt. 9 re-opened just before 3:00PM on Monday. Assistant Chief Stromgren says is too early to speculate where it may have started.
The State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause.