Fire damage likely to close Merritt Restaurant and Bakery for months

OAKLAND, Calif.

Crews responded to several reports of a fire at the Merritt Restaurant and Bakery at 203 E. 18th St., near Athol Plaza, at 2:45 a.m., Battalion Chief Coy Justice said.

Because of the size of the two-story bakery -- roughly 4,000 square feet -- Justice said additional resources were called in to help "get ahead of" the blaze.

The fire, which started in an office in the rear of the building on the ground level, was under control around 3:30 a.m., Justice said.

The cause of the blaze is still being investigated.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported, he said.

The extent of the damage is not yet known, but Justice said it is "going to be pretty substantial."

Justice expects that Merritt Restaurant and Bakery will be closed for a while, saying, "Even if they are totally prepared for this, it could take months" before it reopens.

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