City of Cortland and New York state fire investigators determined the cause of the building fire on Main Street Monday evening.
Cortland fire chief Wayne Friedman told The Cortland Voice on Tuesday morning that the origin of the fire was a can light in between the first-floor ceiling and the second-floor surface of the building. The building has Garcia’s Mexican restaurant and grocery store on the first floor, and apartments on the second floor.
Friedman noted the light could have either malfunctioned, overheated or had other possible issues.
Units from the City of Cortland fire department responded to the call at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Once units arrived, smoke could be seen coming out of the roof of the two-story building.
Firefighters evacuated individuals out of the building, then proceeded to deploy a hose line and a tower ladder to put out the fire.
Units had the fire under control around 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, as crews entered the building to evaluate the structure.
According to a release from the city fire department, the building suffered “significant fire damage” on the second floor, attic and roof area. Friedman added that the second-floor walls were damaged, along with the first-floor ceiling and the second-floor surface.
The release noted there was water damage throughout the building. Friedman said on Tuesday that the grocery store will be closed “for a while” due to the water damage, while the restaurant will also be closed for a thorough post-fire inspection.
No injuries were reported from the fire. Two individuals who lived in the apartments on the second floor are being assisted by the American Red Cross. Other buildings were not damaged.
The city fire department was assisted by the city police department, Cortlandville and Homer fire departments, NYSEG, National Grid, the city water department, and the city department of public works. The McGraw and Virgil fire departments were on stand-by at the city fire station.