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Martha’s bakery in Bayside temporarily closes after fire

A weekend fire on Bell Boulevard has forced the popular Martha’s Country Bakery to shut its doors temporarily and a physical therapy office to close until the extensive damage is repaired.

The blaze began around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at 41-06 Bell Blvd. in Bayside in a building that houses Martha’s Country Bakery on the first floor and Theramotion Physical Therapy on the second floor. The fire, which did not go to a second alarm, was under control by 7:10 p.m., a city Fire Department spokesman said. Part of Bell Boulevard was blocked off as firefighters rushed to the scene.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation, the spokesman said.

“Due to an unfortunate event [the fire on the second floor], we will be closed for repairs,” a sign inside Martha’s window read Tuesday. “Your favorite cupcakes will be with you shortly.”

Martha’s, a popular neighborhood destination for sweets, also has stores in Forest Hills and Astoria. Its menu includes a variety of coffees, cupcakes, cakes and cookies.

The bakery, which often draws large crowds of northeast Queens residents, replaced Marretta’s Bakery after the 30-year-old eatery closed down in 2007.

Nick Zannikos, manager of Bayside’s Martha’s site, said the fire began on the second floor at Theramotion. One firefighter said the fire was burning so hot that the FDNY could not find the source of the blaze on the second floor. Water came through the bakery’s ceiling, but the store did not suffer too much smoke damage.

“We’re hopefully going to be open by the end of the week,” Zannikos said. “It wasn’t anything too bad.”

Workers repaired the second floor’s exterior and Martha’s ceiling throughout the day Monday and Tuesday. The building was renovated and the second floor was added after Marretta’s sold the site.

Theramotion was completely closed following the blaze. Zannikos said that business, which had recently moved into the building’s second floor, would probably not reopen for a while because it had suffered substantial damage.

Theramotion provides holistic physical therapy, sports rehabilitation and massages.

The FDNY spokesman said one person was taken to the hospital after the fire. Two firefighters sustained minor injuries while battling the blaze, he said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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