Cohoes on the mend three weeks after major fire

December 22, 2017 06:55 PM

COHOES - December is typically the busiest month at Rizzo's Florist.  But this December has been anything but typical in Cohoes after a fire ripped through Remsen Street, completely destroying three buildings and affecting more than 30 others.

"It's been much slower due to the fire for sure," explains Louis Rizzo of Rizzo's Florist.


The family owned shop of 40 years estimates business is down 30-35 percent since the November 30 fire. Rizzo's is directly across the street from where it started.

"It's foot traffic, people think we are closed...we still get calls asking if we're open so it's still been kinda hard."

Some people have, however gone out of their way to spend money at Rizzo's because of the fire.  That's also been Cake Street Sweets' experience - the bakery only opened eight months ago.

"It's only been stronger since then.  People are coming to show support for all businesses around here," said Kayla Renfroe, the owner of Cake Street Sweets.

As tragic as the fire was, the hope is it spurs a Renaissance.

"This is a slow will take a bit of time to get things back to normal," added Rizzo.

The sushi restaurant next to Smith's is the only business that hasn't reopened since the fire.

All the residents who were displaced have been relocated into more permanent housing. Fundraising has netted $65,000.


Abigail Bleck

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