By Patrick Markey
New York fire investigators are still sifting for clues about what started the three-alarm blaze which badly damaged five stores, including a popular Irish bakery in the Woodside neighborhood in Queens, officials said this week.
The May 1 fire tore through to Shane’s Bakery on 61st Street, and gutted a jewelry store, a newsstand and a Mexican restaurant, in the early morning hours. The fire worked through the attics of several buildings, but firefighters were able to halt it at the bakery.
"It’s still under investigation but as of now it doesn’t appear to be suspicious," a Fire Department spokesman said.
The spokesman said fire marshals were still working through clues from the wreckage of one structure which collapsed into the cellar pancaking the insides. Investigators work slowly to secure the building’s unstable, fire-damaged structure.
"It’s a long process and they want to make sure they don’t destroy any clues to the fire’s origin," the spokesman said.
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On Friday, more than two weeks after the fire, Shane’s Bakery was still under repair. The store, which would have been open for three years on Mother’s Day, has managed to operate a delivery service.
The small kitchen in the back of the popular bakery and restaurant was in operation, but much of the interior is still damaged, said owner Shane Moynagh. His brother, an artist, has arrived from Ireland to add his own touch to the new store’s painted walls.
"We rebuilding the whole store; it’s like starting over again," he said. "It’s up and down, but we’re getting there. It will be a fine store when we’re finished."