Community Members Band Together To Help Business Owners Impacted By Devastating Floral Park Fire

FLORAL PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The day after a devastating fire ripped through a row of stores on Long Island the neighborhood started coming together.

Residents and business owners were brainstorming ways to rebuild, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Monday.

They say bad news travels fast. But in Floral Park, restaurant owner Paul Capoziello is finding out that kindness travels further.

“After a devastation or a tragedy like this, you really see how important you are to people when you don’t realize it,” Capoziello said.

MORE: Restaurants Among 5 Businesses Badly Damaged By Fire In Floral Park

For 12 years, Capoziello’s restaurant, Capo, has faithfully served families, supported fundraisers, and most recently fed COVID-19 first responders.

His restaurant along with 10 other damaged or destroyed storefronts make up the popular and extremely beloved hub on Covert Avenue.

Nancy Millus, who has memories patronizing each one like so many other people, said she is determined to help the businesses survive.

“It just totally breaks my heart. It was probably one of the saddest days of my life. We’re going to try to rally behind them,” Millus said.

Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi is already at work coming up with ideas, from setting up tents in a local parking lot so restaurants can still fulfill pick-up orders to giving them space to park food trucks.

“I will tell you our building department will be working with them night and day to get them back as fast as we possibly can,” Longobardi said.

Capoziello, who was overwhelmed with grief Sunday after losing his life’s work, was overwhelmed with gratitude on Monday.

“It makes you feel a little easier, a little more at ease knowing that, hey, maybe I should open up again. It makes that decision of yes or no, into yes. Now, let’s figure out when,” Capoziello said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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