Cleveland apartment fire wreaks havoc on local businesses

CLEVELAND — Cleveland fire officials have confirmed that the cause of the fire at the Bridgeview apartment complex on West 9th Street was accidental.

The fire started on the seventh floor of the apartment, and while no one was injured, sprinklers in about 27 apartments and one business damaged water.

The business on the ground floor of the complex is Fluff n’ Stuff, a puppy daycare, grooming and boarding business.

Owner Marche Smith opened the downtown branch about a year ago. Clarissa Bunton is the general manager of the location. She was there when the fire broke out on Tuesday.

“I looked forward and I was like ‘wow,’ it’s just a big cloud of smoke that completely engulfed us,” she said. “We were hot, especially trying to get all the dogs packed and ready to go.”

For the past year, Smith has been trying to make Fluff n’ Stuff a household name for animal parents in downtown Cleveland, and they finally did, Bonton said.

“It’s better than ever. We’ve got a steady stream of clients, a family, building this family, and it’s like, ‘Oh, Napoleon’s coming in, oh, Otto’s going in,'” Bonton said.

But now, flooding from Tuesday’s fire has forced them to temporarily close their doors.

“It was like it was down there, to the point of flooding,” Bonton said. “We came back around 9:00 p.m. to check the place and it was still dripping everywhere, flooding everywhere,” she said.

Dozens of fans are now promoting the facility, but they’re not sure how long it will take to get everything ready to reopen.

“We just want to make sure everything is safe for the dog to come back,” Bonton said. “It’s very, very heartbreaking to see things move so quickly. We’ve only been open for a year.”

They believe it will be a relief for them and their four-legged family members when they reopen.

“I remember they ended up as a family and our reopening would be great,” she said.

Fluff n’ Stuff will have to replace most of their supplies, toys, beds and electronics. If you would like to help, please click here.

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