Updated July 21 at 2:20 p.m.
A fire at the Fuji Seoul restaurant caused damage to several businesses Wednesday night in Merrick.
According to the Nassau County Police Department, officers responded to an active fire at 11:50 p.m. Fuji Seoul, a Korean and Japanese restaurant, is on a strip of businesses on Merrick Avenue.
The Merrick Fire Department worked to contain the blaze, along with several other departments including North Merrick, Bellmore, North Bellmore, Wantagh and Freeport Fire Departments. Ronnie Gies, head of the Merrick department, told the Herald the call for fire came at 11:57 p.m.
“When we got there,” Gies said, “there was a very high volume of fire.”
Firefighters attempted to enter the storefront of Fuji Seoul to fight the fire inside, but the crowding of tables and chairs made it very difficult and they had to get out and reassess. Firefighters then fought the blaze from outside the store, before they were able to enter and successfully extinguish the fire.
Although the blaze was mostly confined to Fuji Seoul, it spread slightly from one store to the south. Several others on the commercial strip were damaged by smoke.
A firefighter was taken to Nassau University Medical Center and treated for heat stroke, Gies said. A heat wave in Nassau County made conditions more difficult as they battled the blaze.
“It was brutal,” Gies said.
Several nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, police said. No civilians were injured.
The Nassau County Office of the Fire Marshal also responded to the scene. Detectives ruled the fire not suspicious.
“We still don’t know how it started,” Gies said of the fire.
The investigation is still ongoing.
This story will be updated.