CLEVELAND -- Cleaning crews spent the first full day of work Monday on the fire-damaged West Side Market.
Some 60-feet up in the air, crews with vacuums are cleaning the soot off of the ceramic-glazed bricks. Other workers are scrubbing walls and counters by hand.
The task is monumental.
"It's like fitting an elephant into a 2-foot window," said Kevin Mann, owner of the Mentor-based company, RestorX MD. The fire restoration company is charged with the $276,000 job of cleaning the Market Hall in 10 days.
Every day that passes means lost business for hundreds of vendors and employees.
"We want to get these people back in business," said Mann. "These people are relying on us to make this happen, and get their lives back together."
65 workers are cleaning around the clock, in order to finish the job. Mann believes that it may be done a couple of days ahead of schedule, which would mean the Market Hall could reopen as early as February 10th.
On Monday, the Health Department authorized the reopening of the Market's basement, where meat is cut and stored. Vendors were able to recover their inventory, still in the basement coolers.
The fire, early Wednesday morning left heavy smoke and soot damage throughout the Market Hall. Investigators believe the fire was caused by a problem with an electrical connection at the kiosk for Sebastian's Meats.
The produce building was not affected by the fire, and is open for regular business.