Two-alarm fire breaks out at Brooklyn restaurant that was closed during pandemic

Firefighters operate multiple hoselines into the celluar of a commerical building at 9 Putnam Avenue. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A two-alarm fire caused heavy damage to a restaurant and an apartment above in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon, fire officials said.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries in the 4:10 p.m. blaze at 11 Putnam Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. He was treated at Brooklyn Hospital.

Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the basement of the popular Masaki Sake and Sushi spreading throughout the two-story building. The fire quickly went to a second alarm as the fire was spreading through the walls to the first and second floors. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control just after 5 p.m., but by then the building had suffered severe smoke, fire and water damage.

Residents and workers on the scene said the restaurant was undergoing renovations while it was closed for the COVID-19 pandemic and was preparing for Phase 2 reopening. Fire officials were investigating whether construction may have been a factor in the cause of the fire.

A laundromat adjoining the property was not damaged by the fire, officials said.

Witness Rebecca Craig, a local resident, said “smoke filled the air for a long time, the fire department got here and put the fire out rather quickly.”
Restaurants are not expected to fully reopen for business until July, though many are operating take-out and on-line orders only establishments for now.
The fire broke out at a sushi restaurant just after 4 p,.m. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)