Schenectady County

Suit blames pizza shop owner for Schenectady fire

A 2010 fire that destroyed a T-shirt business and a pizza shop has resulted in a lawsuit against the

A 2010 fire that destroyed a T-shirt business and a pizza shop has resulted in a lawsuit against the parent company of the pizzeria, alleging negligence resulted in the fire.

Michael D. Putorti and his First Class Productions filed suit last month in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County against Old Schenectady LLC.

Old Schenectady is described as the parent company of 4 Corners Pizza, the pizza shop destroyed in the Aug. 10, 2010, blaze at 2807-2809 Guilderland Ave.

The building housing 4 Corners Pizza, First Class Products and the offices of Anderson Blacktop and Seal Coating was ultimately demolished.

Fire investigators weren’t able to definitively determine what caused the fire. There were some reports, however, that a lit candle in the back room of the pizzeria may have started the blaze.

The lawsuit filed by Putorti and First Class Productions points to the candle as part of the negligence claim. Putorti owned the property.

The fire, the suit reads, “was caused by the negligence of Old Schenectady’s agents and employees” with that negligence including “leaving a burning candle unattended under circumstances that presented an unreasonable risk of harm.”

The suit also cites allegations that Old Schenectady “failed to exercise proper supervision over agents and employees and over business visitors who were permitted access to portions of the premises that were not accessible to the general public.”

No specific dollar damages are identified in the suit, but Putorti and First Class cite destruction of property as well as revenue losses and other damages, costs and expenses.

Putorti and First Class are represented by attorney Daniel Harrington of Philadelphia. Harrington could not be reached for comment for this story.

Gerard Parisi, among the group that owns the pizza shop, said he has been served with the suit and has forwarded it to the shop’s insurance company.

Both 4 Corners Pizza and First Class Products have since relocated. The fire site remains vacant. Since the blaze, it and the surrounding parcels had been the topic of speculation about a new CVS drug store, but zoning challenges appeared to kill that proposal this past April.

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