The Ithaca Fire Department reports they have successfully extinguished a fire that began in the basement at 110 North Aurora Street. A fire in Downtown Ithaca closed off the 100 block of North Aurora Street during the morning rush hour earlier today.
The building, on "Restaurant Row" in between State Street and Seneca Street, contains Blue Stone Bar & Grill and Mercato Bar and Kitchen as well as several apartments. Blue Stone replaced Kope's Garage a few years ago.
Firefighters were able to evacuate the building's inhabitants, as well as residents from adjacent buildings. Staff at Mercato say they will be closed on Tuesday night while they assess smoke and water damage and consider when they can reopen.
The Ithaca Fire Department suggested that motorists avoid the east end of the Ithaca Commons during the incident. Drivers on Route 79 eastbound along Green Street and westbound along Seneca Street are experiencing slight delays. Ithaca Police Department advises that cars may turn left from East State Street onto South Aurora Street to head up Route 96B toward Ithaca College, but emergency vehicles at the intersection make it too tight for large trucks.