A Freeport fire caused extensive damage to a mom-and-pop appliance business and smoke damage to an adjoining business Monday morning, Nassau police said.
The owner of C & C Appliance, at 11 E. Merrick Rd., discovered flames about 6:15 a.m. in the rear after opening for business, authorities said.
As employees arrived, they found about 50 Freeport firefighters trying to put out the flames at the repair shop, across the street from the business' showroom.
"At first, you're in denial," said Rafael Arevalo, a manager and relative of the owner. "As the day goes by, you kind of start to realize the damage."
No injuries were reported, authorities said.
James Hickman, supervisor of the investigations division at the Nassau County fire marshal's office, said the fire was caused by an electrical problem and led to smoke damage at adjoining stores.
Arevalo said the fire burned much of the room where repair parts are stored, along with some appliances.
The business has been at that location for 35 years and employs about six people on the repair side, he said.
After insurance agents and investigators finish going through the damage, Arevalo said, the store owner and managers expect to meet Monday night to determine how they can keep as many repair employees on the payroll as possible. It may be months before the damage is fixed, he said.
"We have to sit down and figure out how we can keep everybody going," Arevalo said. "We'll figure it out."