Archived Story

Former African market building nearly restored

Published 10:18am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Repairs are expected to finish this week at 107 Fourth Ave. NE, the property where Sako African Food Market and Beauty Supply was before it ignited in flames on Dec. 10. Restoration totaling $110,000 will wrap up with a roof repairs and interior painting, said property owner Constantine Lecakis.

“We’ve already gone ahead and replaced everything in it,” he said.

Going forward, Lecakis said he plans on placing the property to sell, though he may continue renting it out instead if the right tenant comes along.

“I don’t plan on renting it to Sako,” he said.

Ladji Sako, the African market’s owner, could not be reached for comment. He said in a December interview the fire would not deter him from opening another business.

Austin Fire Chief Mickey Healey said a coal-based incense likely caused the fire after aging, oxidizing and spontaneously combusting, much like damp hay does when it becomes hot.

A pedestrian noticed the store on fire and called 911 at 10:45 p.m. Dec. 10. Other scents and perfumes may have fueled the blaze, but firefighters extinguished it quickly.


—Matt Peterson contributed to this report.

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