An early morning fire swept through two downtown Quincy buildings on Sunday, destroying four businesses and inflicting smoke and water damage on several others.
The fire started around 4 a.m. Sunday in an apartment above Quincy Thrift, said Robbie Cassou, chief of the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department.
It quickly spread downstairs to the Pizza Factory, the thrift store and an adjacent building that housed a newly-opened cigarette speciality shop and a learning center, which had not yet opened.
Because of the intense heat, Cassou dispatched firefighters to buildings ahead of the blaze. At the Clinch Building, built in 1908, volunteers removed original art work from a gallery by carrying paintings and sculptures to safety in Pangaea Restaurant across the street.
Most of the buildings along Main Street are interconnected through attics and basements, complicating fire containment, said Cassou.
None of the 45 volunteers from five agencies sustained any injuries, he said.
The cause of the blaze in under investigation by a state team, which is assisting the Quincy Fire Department.
Downtown Quincy has burned several times since the 1850s, most recently in 1934, when the entire block across from the recent fire was destroyed, Cassou said.