By Jan Carabeo

EAST MARLBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — Two well-known businesses in a Chester County shopping center are forced to start off the new year rebuilding after an early-morning fire. Firefighters rushed to the Willowdale Town Center on Unionville Road in East Marlborough Township, just before 2:30 a.m. Friday.


READ MORE: 3 Sharon Hill Police Officers Fired After Being Charged In Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility

When crews arrived, they found flames shooting through the roof of one of the businesses. Soon after, crews struck a second alarm to get more manpower to the scene. It took about 100 firefighters to get the flames under control.

“Crews got the fire under control within about 40 minutes, now they are just going through an extensive overhaul,” Chester County Chief Fire Marshal John Weer said.


Both Sovana Bistro and Nicholas Anthony’s Salon and Day Spa have been in business along Unionville Road for more than 20 years.

“Sovana Bistro is a favorite for miles and miles around,” Shari Cooper said.

READ MORE: 74-Year-Old Woman Killed In Medford House Fire

“Plenty of people get their haircut here, I get my haircut here, and then a lot of us eat at Sovana,” Dave Walker, a pastor at a nearby church, said.

Fire officials say the flames engulfed the first and second floors of the restaurant. Officials say the bistro and nail salon were destroyed.

Crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to an attorney’s office within the same building, as well as a neighboring building housing the office of state Rep. Christina Sappey.

“Now the recovery starts and hopefully the community can rally around them,” Walker said.

No firefighters were injured.

MORE NEWS: Ex-Horsham Clinic Staffer Faces Child Sex Abuse Charges After Allegedly Sending Nude Pictures To Teen Patient

Investigators believe the fire started in the bistro and then spread, but the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.