In an emotional Facebook Live video posted last week, Fat Belly Deli and Blasi’s Cafe owner Kenny Blasi surveyed the damage caused by a September fire in his building’s basement, announcing that initial action has been taken to repair and reopen the establishments.
“I’m overwhelmed here,” Blasi said, his voice cracking with emotion. Holding a lantern in one hand and his phone in the other, Blasi recorded footage of the damaged basement, his footsteps crunching through rubble as he flipped a switch to turn on newly installed temporary lights, a symbolic first step in the long restoration process to come.
A two-alarm fire on September 23 partially destroyed the basement and caused smoke damage to the first floor of the building on Adams Street, which also houses Folan Family Dental, PS Gourmet Coffee, Village Touch, and Bruins Daily. The Carpenters Local 67 union, which was also located in the building, has since relocated their regional headquarters to 750 Dorchester Ave.
Panning his camera, Blasi showed burnt out electrical panels and explained how, without electric pumps, the basement had been flooded with a foot of water for over three months.
But Blasi, whose family has owned the building for eighty years, expressed relief that the rebuilding process had finally begun.
“It’s monumental,” he said. “Me and my brother Joe, all of our employees, we’re gonna get our lives back.”
Blasi signed off the video with a salute and a message of resolve: “Stand by, everybody. We’ll be back.”