Fells Point bridal shop burns Sun­day night

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Tim Pru­dente tpru­dente@balt­sun.com

Fire tore through a Fells Point bridal store Sun­day night, pour­ing gray smoke above Eastern Av­enue and driv­ing out the first fire­fight­ers to ar­rive.

Crews evac­u­ated as the flames spread in the sec­ond and third floors above Bridal Fash­ions by Niko, a fam­ily-owned de­signer dress store on Eastern Av­enue.

The busi­ness was empty when fire­fight­ers ar­rived about 8p.m. and no one was hurt, said Sam John­son, the Fire Depart­ment spokesman.

“Oh my gosh, the dresses,” said Lynda Se­bas­tianelli, who lives across the street. “There’s like hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars of beau­ti­ful, beau­ti­ful dresses.”

The cause of the fire was also un­known Sun­day night. Firetrucks blocked off Eastern Av­enue around the shop and crews wrapped po­lice tape to keep back the crowds. They sprayed wa­ter into the win­dows up­stairs and into the back of the build­ing at 1707 Eastern Ave.

Dee Walker, an owner of nearby Prime Steak­house, had no­ticed the smoke and hur­ried to warn fam­i­lies in the apart­ments above the shop.

“I was­bang­ing onthe doors,” Walker said. “I helped two fam­i­lies out and called 911.”

Fire­fight­ers worked more than an hour to con­trol flames at the shop founded in 1982, ac­cord­ing to its web­site. It of­fers the “largest and finest se­lec­tion of de­signer wed­ding gowns.”

The store’s own­ers could not be reached for com­ment late Sun­day.

Se­bas­tianelli and her hus­band, Ar­mand, watched from across Eastern Av­enue. Ar­mand Se­bas­tianelli said he first no­ticed the smoke ris­ing from the rear of the shop.

One year ago, Lynda Se­bas­tianelli bought a taupe dress from Niko’s for a wed­ding. She re­mem­bered the kindly staff who tai­lored her dress for free.

“In­side, it’s beau­ti­ful,” she said, watch­ing the smoke rise. “They’re very metic­u­lous. The clothes are so well taken care of.”

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