Michigan, USA - The Chaldean community in Michigan were stunned to learn two of their favorite shopping locations went up in flames yesterday afternoon. Both Kashat International Market and New Sahara Restaurant were completely destroyed by fire.
Firefighters from Oak Park, Ferndale, and Beverly Hills spent all day Wednesday trying to get the five alarm fire under control. Early reports indicate the fire started in an international market and spread to the New Sahara Restaurant next door.
Both businesses have been in the community for decades. “Almost every Chaldean family has eaten or shopped at those places,” says Alex Jabarow of Novi. “Sahara would often stay open until two or four in the morning as Chaldeans would close their business and visit for a late night meal. Those places have lots of history and meant a lot to many Chaldeans. Especially those who fell in love with their house sauce.”
John Seary, owner of Frutasia Market stood somberly in the parking lot as he watched his two business neighbors go up on smoke. Forced to evacuate from his grocery store and usher his customers out, Seary says he is saddened by their loss.
John rushed all his customers out of the grocery store and then ensure all his employees and customers were safe before returning back into his business to rescue business documents. Rushed out as billowing smoke entered his buildings firefighters were concerned the flames would leap across the one center and begin burning the other shopping center adjacent to Kashat Market and New Sahara Restaurant.
Nick Salmo, a neighbor resident and frequent customer watched on as firefighters fought the fire. Salmo who eats at both establishments walked back home saddened by the loss. Turning away from the fire Salmo returned home to share the sad news with his family and friends that two of the communities favorite spice store and restaurant had burnt to the ground.