Community looking to rebuild after fire devastates Natick businesses

Community looking to rebuild after fire devastates Natick businesses

NATICK, Mass. — Monday was a rough start to the week for Natick residents and business owners as a fire downtown burned for close to 11 hours.

The blaze, which started at around 1:30 a.m. in a building on 7 South Main Street, burned through several businesses just feet from the Natick Common.

By 7 a.m., the fire had grown to 9-alarms. The building is about 13,000 square feet and houses several small businesses, including a print shop, a Christian Science Reading Room, a Chinese restaurant, a pet groomer, and a gift shop.

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Crews had a difficult time finding where the fire started, because the building, originally built in 1900, has been renovated into different units and configurations over the years, which made it challenging for firefighters to find the source of the fire.

Neighboring communities assisted in the firefighting efforts as the heat and humidity made it harder for crews to put out the flames.

At a news conference Monday night, Natick Fire Chief Michael Lentini said three firefighters suffered minor injuries and were treated and released.

On Tuesday morning, the landscape was vehemently different. A community that watched as a decades-old building was engulfed in flames, was looking into rebuilding all that was lost the next morning

"Companies arrived on scene and they found heavy smoke coming from the King Wok area which is a restaurant," said Natick Fire Chief Michael Lentini.

Nancy Kelly owned a dance studio on South Main Street and now has to rebuild her business, but Kelly says she's not worried about it.

She said everyone will be dancing again soon. Her years of work burned to the ground but a Wayland firefighter, whose two daughters took lessons at Kelly's studio, was able to save some special mementos.

"The people inside are the people that count," said Kelly. "It’s my dance family. My little ones through my adults that I love and that I love to teach to dance. We will find another place and we will be dancing soon."

Neighboring streets and intersections have opened back up, but the downtown area now has a different look.

While there is still no word on what could have started the fire, the fire chief says they have already ruled out arson as a potential cause.