Onlookers on Third Avenue across from the scene of a four-alarm fire that gutted six businesses on June 20. By Benedetta Tommaselli.

A fire in the heart of Melrose’s commercial corridor gutted a row of businesses early Thursday morning.

Three firefighters were injured while responding to the fire, none seriously.

The fire began at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 3033 Third Ave. around 5 a.m., according to FDNY Assistant Chief Kevin Brennan.

The businesses scorched by the blaze include the New China restaurant, fabric wholesaler Holland Textiles, Blazin’ smokeshop and a 99 Cent store, along with the Dunkin’.

Firefighters put the fire out around 11:35 a.m.

“We are lucky this happened so early in the morning,” said FDNY Division Chief Mark Bonilla. “The heat and humidity hadn’t really kicked in yet.”

The fire department urges residents who live nearby to keep their windows closed to avoid smoke inhalation.

The fire blazed across the street from the Community Board 1 district office, from where District Manager Anthony Jordan witnessed it.

“I watched some business owners mourn and cry for their stores,” said Jordan during Board 1’s monthly meeting at a Port Morris school later in the day. “They lost everything they had.”

Speaking at the board meeting, State Sen. Jose Serrano Jr. said that his office was prepared to assist small businesses displaced by the fire.

“This is a major blow to our community,” said Serrano. “But we will pull together and make sure that everyone has the resources they need.”

Pedro Suarez, executive director of the Third Avenue Business Improvement District released a statement after the blaze, announcing that “the BID will help coordinate a Business Recovery Meeting with the NYC Department of Small Businesses and their Emergency Response Division, Community Board 1, local businesses, city agencies, and elected officials – hopefully within the next week,” following the FDNY’s investigation.

“Businesses impacted are advised to contact their insurance provider and file a claim,” the statement continued, although the site of the blaze was several blocks north of the BID’s operating area. “Thankfully, no lives were lost. Our hearts go out to the small businesses impacted by the fire, as they will need a tremendous amount of assistance in the months ahead.”

The buildings department has issued a vacate order  on the building at 3037 Third Avenue.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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