A fire on Witherspoon Street extensively damaged the building complex comprising the More Café, Sakura Express, and the Village Silver this afternoon.
Princeton Director of Emergency Services Robert Gregory said on the scene that there were no injuries due to first responders' efforts to evacuate civilians before the fire spread.
Numerous first response vehicles and personnel were on the scene to survey and contain the damage including multiple fire trucks and ambulances.
Gregory said that it appears that the fire had started in the café area on the first floor of the complex, and then spread to the adjacent businesses and into the basement, damaging the structure. However, he added that the investigation is ongoing, and that they would continue to solicit information from witnesses. In the meantime utilities to the businesses have been cut off, and businesses will also be required to shut their doors for an unspecified time period, while damage is assessed and repaired and smoke is cleared from the building.
Gregory also said that the American Red Cross is currently on scene to assist residents in need of housing following the blaze.
While it is still unknown as to how the fire began, a group of bystanders nearby reported that the fire was said to have been started by a lit cigarette, causing damage to the building’s electrical utilities, and thus triggering subsequent electrical fires that spread throughout the rest of the building.