When Shirlyn Frederick heard the cries of “fire!’’ she ran from the laundromat to the Jamaican restaurant next door, where the cook was trying to subdue a small fire that had broken out behind the refrigerator.
But as flames burst toward the ceiling and black smoke filled the room, Frederick quickly realized the fire was too strong, and the pair ran to safety.
“Black smoke everywhere,’’ she said this morning after a four-alarm fire badly damaged the storefront property on 124-130 Harvard St. in Dorchester. “In no time at all.’’
Frederick, who owns the commercial building, said she was stunned by the fire, but was grateful no one was hurt.
The fire broke out just after 11 a.m., before the restaurant had opened for the day, she said.
Steve MacDonald, a fire department spokesman, said firefighters knocked down the heavy flames within 15 minutes. The flames spread from the restaurant to the laundromat next door, causing an estimated $500,000 in damage.
The buildings share a ceiling, and the fire spread horizontally, he said.
No one was injured, he said.
“Everybody got out safely,’’ he said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, MacDonald said.
The laundromat sustained significant water and smoke damage, Frederick said. The building is fully insured, Frederick said.