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Terry's Ice Cream, 5 Corners Kitchen Assessing Damage

A two-alarm fire that left both businesses with extensive smoke and water damage Wednesday afternoon has left many loyal customers wondering what's next.

Outside of Wednesday evening, discarded caution tape laid strewn across the street and the smell of smoke was still in the air as several store employees cried and consoled one another.

Inside, a crew of workers was cutting plywood to seal a gaping hole in the ice cream parlor's roof that was intentionally cut by local firefighters in an attempt to let heat escape from the building during a .

The stools once frequented by local teens were now up on tables, the floors and ceiling had suffered noticeable water and smoke damage and the steady parade of residents walking by showcased how quickly news of the fire had traveled through town.

Next door, at , the doors were closed, the lights were off and a different crew of workers had begun cutting pieces of wood to seal a large hole in the rear of the building.

The extent of the water and smoke damage suffered by the two businesses remained unclear Wednesday night but appeared to be extensive.

The Fire

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., firefighters and police units responded to the rear of the building. As the first fire trucks arrived on scene, kitchen workers from 5 Corners Kitchen were seen clearing boxes out of the back of the restaurant and black smoke could be seen billowing out of the doors leading to the restaurant's kitchen.

Shortly after arriving on scene, local firefighters used ladders to access the roof of the building and could be heard working with chainsaws in an attempt to open a space for the heat and smoke to escape.

When a space was cleared, a large black plume of smoke could be seen rising more than 50 feet into the sky over the center of town.

The intersection and much of downtown Marblehead was closed to traffic for more than two hours as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and the roadway was lined with on-lookers until about 4 p.m.

It appeared as though the fire was knocked down in about 45 minutes.

While on scene, Fire Chief Jason Gilliland said the cause of the fire was still under investigation and that fire officials were working to figure out exactly where it had originated.

A report is expected to be issued from the today and Marblehead Patch will be posting new information as it becomes available.

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