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Mediterranean Deli fire started during roof work, fire department says

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The Chapel Hill Fire Department responds to a fire at Mediterranean Deli on Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Updated Aug. 10, 7:05 p.m.: The Chapel Hill Fire Department's investigation into the cause of the fire confirmed that it started on the roof due to work being done there at the time. They also found the fire was accidental.

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Updated 10:29 a.m.: West Franklin Street has fully reopened to traffic, and crews have cleared from the scene. 

An investigation into the fire is ongoing, and a meeting between the Town and local business leaders to discuss how to best support the affected businesses and their staff members is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

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Updated 10:09 p.m.: The eastbound lane of West Franklin Street near the fire reopened around 9:30 p.m., but the eastbound lane will remain closed overnight.

The Town and local business leaders will meet tomorrow to discuss how to best support the affected businesses and their staff members.

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Updated 6:26 p.m.: About three hours after the initial call, the Chapel Hill Fire Department — along with several other fire departments from both Orange and Chatham counties — has successfully contained the fire at Mediterranean Deli. No injuries, besides the firefighter who was cut but not seriously injured, have been reported.

Franklin Street is still closed from Mallette Street to Kenan Street, and portions of Rosemary Street are also down to one lane. Officials are still asking community members to avoid the area.

The cause of the fire is unknown, and an investigation is underway. The fire was contained to Mediterranean Deli, but smoke and water damage is likely to have impacted nearby buildings, according to Alex Carrasquillo, the Town's community safety public information officer.

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Updated 4:38 p.m.: One Chapel Hill firefighter sustained a minor cut, and there have been no other reports of injuries at the site. Crews are still fighting the fire on Franklin Street, and officials are asking community members to stay out of the area.

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The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a fire at Mediterranean Deli, a popular restaurant on Franklin Street, on Saturday afternoon.

Franklin Street is closed between Mallette and Kenan streets, and Chapel Hill Transit is diverting the CW and J routes to Rosemary Streets until Franklin Street reopens.

At this time, the Town does not have any information on the cause of the fire, injuries or damage.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Ethan E. Horton

Ethan E. Horton is the 2023-24 city & state editor at The Daily Tar Heel. He has previously served as a city & state assistant editor and as the 2023 summer managing editor. Ethan is a senior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and political science, with a minor in history.

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