Fire Origin Still Undetermined at Bagel Bin

The cause of the four-alarm fire at the Bagel Bin last week has been listed as undetermined by the Revere and state fire investigation unit.

“The origin of the fire is believed to have been in a void space between the ceiling and the roof in the rear of the building near the kitchen area,” said Capt. Robert Fortuna. “The estimate of damage is $1.5 million for the building and its contents.”

The first call came in around 11:49 p.m. July 29 and soon turned to four-alarms as firefighters worked through the early morning hours on July 30 to douse the flames. When dawn broke you could see right through The Bagel Bin at 207 Shirley Ave. Just a shell stood.

Owners George and Ella Vlladesi, immigrants from Albania who have run the restaurant for 20 years, vowed to rebuild.

The Bagel Bin was the go-to place for those seeking political office, locally and nationally. The restaurant has served as a forum for Gov. Charlie Baker to announce grants or stop into on his way home to Swampscott during winter storms. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo has been a patron and even the late U.S. Sen. John McCain found his way there in 2008 while campaigning for President.

The single-story restaurant with a basement was the equivalent of two store-fronts, each with large commercial glass windows and a glass door.  These, as well as the door in the rear, were protected by heavy-duty steel roll-down grates and locks. 

Ladder 1 had an aerial view of the roof and through the use of the thermal imaging camera realized the roof was being compromised. The partially collapsed roof made it difficult to reach the hidden pockets of fire adding to difficulty of extinguishment.

In all Engine and Ladder Co.’s from Revere, Chelsea, Malden, Massport, Lynn, Everett, Boston, Saugus and Cambridge responded to the four-alarm fire.  There were no reported injuries and the incident was closed pending investigation.

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