Norton fire causes estimated $500,000 in damage

— Heat, fire and water damage to a shopping plaza on East Main Street could end up costing as much as $500,000, Fire Capt. Benton Keene III said Friday.

Keene said all six units of the Shops in the Pines Plaza at 63 East Main St. are closed and losing business as a result of an electrical fire that started in an air-conditioning unit.

He said an engineer will have to determine if there is structural damage. Other costs associated with the fire will include lost products, damaged equipment, cleanup and restoration work along with electrical repairs, he said.

“It could be half a million dollars,” he said. “It also depends on how long they are out of business.”

Keene said Jeffrey’s Pizza, where the fire started, and Convenience Plus, an abutting store, suffered the most damage from heat, fire and water.

It appears an electrical fire started in an air-conditioning unit in the ceiling of the pizza shop, he said.

Keene said Mansfield, Attleboro, Easton and North Attleboro provided mutual aid.

The fire was reported at 8:34 a.m. and firefighters cleared the scene at 12:53 p.m., he said.

Firefighters got to the scene quickly because it is diagonally across the street from the fire station.

One employee at the plaza, Janet Bernard of Clean Pros, which is located in the center of the building, said she was at work at the time and had just waited on a customer when she heard an alarm go off.

She said she at first thought that there was something wrong with the store’s system, but then heard all of the businesses’ smoke alarms and left the building.

Edward Jette, who owns hair salon Studio 6 at one end of the complex, said he received a call that the building was on fire and immediately headed in to see the damage.

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