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Fundraiser to aid East Rockaway businesses damaged in fire set for Sept. 17

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The Village Pride Party will host a fundraiser called “A Taste of East Rockaway” on Sept. 17 to help cover repairs to the restaurant B Bistro: A Taste of Vietnam and the VIP Love Your Pet grooming shop on Main Street in East Rockaway, after they were damaged by a fire in August.

“Recently, the Village of East Rockaway business district was faced with disaster as a late-night fire roared through stores on Main Street, devastating local commerce, both new and old,” Mayor Bruno Romano said in a statement. “East Rockaway is resilient — a tough community that comes together in the face of adversity to support our town.”

Members of the village Fire Department responded to the blaze on Main Street at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 8, an hour after extinguishing a house fire on Woods Avenue. No one was inside the businesses because they were closed at the time, and no injuries were reported. Lightning is believed to have started the fire, according to a post on the Fire Department website.

First Assistant Chief Ronald Roeill was the first on the scene, and radioed other firefighters that smoke was billowing from the one-story eatery. Units from Ladder 403 and Engine 404 arrived soon after and began dousing the fire with water to contain it, under the direction of Chief Jack Felbinger and his deputy chiefs, including Roeill, Dave Bilardello and Dominic Pignataro. The Lynbrook, Oceanside, Hewlett, Malverne, Lakeview and Rockville Centre fire departments also sent volunteers to aid in the effort. The blaze was eventually extinguished, but it caused severe damage to the bistro and the pet grooming shop, which shared a wall.

“The quick response and actions by the volunteers of the East Rockaway Fire Department and surrounding departments stopped the spread of fire that could have easily caused additional property damage and injury,” a statement on the Fire Department website reads.

B Bistro, which opened in June, specialized in Vietnamese sandwiches, rice dishes and noodle soups and bowls. It has remained closed nearly one month after the fire. The pet store has been in the village for many years, but also remains closed after the fire. Calls to the establishments were not returned, but B Bistro’s owners posted a message on the restaurant’s website that read:

“We are sad to say that, due to unfortunate circumstances, B Bistro will not be open until further notice. We will keep you updated once we receive more information on our re-opening. We are making every effort to re-open as soon as possible and to continue serving you our authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Thank you for your love and support.”