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Chimney fire evacuates two restaurants

Customers were evacuated from two restaurants Monday evening in Williamsville Place Plaza, 5493 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, after a smoky fire began in one of them, according to Main-Transit Fire Chief James C. Lawida.

Firefighters responding to a call at 6:38 p.m. extinguished flames in the chimney of the pizza oven in the kitchen at JoJo Bistro. Smoke spread to the adjoining Black & Blue Steak and Crab Restaurant.

Lawida estimated damage at $10,000 to the structure and $5,000 to the contents. The cause was a blockage in the pizza oven’s chimney pipe, he said. Both restaurants were closed for the evening. No injuries were reported.