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East Village Buildings In Explosion Housed Popular Restaurants

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The buildings that were damaged or destroyed in a massive explosion and fire in the East Village Thursday housed two popular restaurants, and one of them was once the home to a former star of "The Sopranos."

The explosion and fire were reported at around 3:17 p.m., and fire tore through 119, 121, 123 and 125 Second Ave., which are mixed residential and commercial buildings.

PHOTOS: Second Avenue Building Explosion

Many residents mourned the loss of the businesses that were damaged or destroyed in the explosion. Sushi Park, on the ground floor at 121 Second Ave., was described by as a "cheap Japanese restaurant always offering half-price sushi deals."

Pommes Frites, on the ground floor at 123 Second Ave., is popular in the neighborhood for its Belgian fries. The restaurant released a statement via Twitter Thursday evening.

"We would like to thank everyone who has shared their concern for our well-being. Our staff and our customers are safe. However, our main concern is for those who were injured. This is a terrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to them and their families," the statement said. "Due to the severe damage to our building, we are closed for the foreseeable future. We hope to re-open someday soon, and we will keep you updated when we have more news to share."

The 123 Second Ave. building was also once the home of onetime "Sopranos" star Drea de Matteo. She posted a tribute on Instagram.

FDNY video showed the 123 building collapsing to the ground.

Video of collapse as it happens - 123 2 AVE NYC by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) on YouTube

Nineteen people were injured in the blast, and four were reported in critical condition, officials said.


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