Investigators are working to determine what sparked an early morning fire Sunday that left a downtown Naperville restaurant uninhabitable and caused an estimated $200,000 in damage to its building.
No one was injured in the fire, which was reported at 6:13 a.m. by a passer-by that noticed a large amount of smoke coming from the two-story structure at 6 W. Jefferson Ave., according to the Naperville Fire Department. The building is home to Rizzo’s restaurant and bar.
Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sander, speaking at the scene on Sunday, said the fire does not to appear to be suspicious, but stressed that the investigation into the cause continues.
Two trucks, three engines, a heavy rescue squad and two ambulances responded to the scene, along with two command vehicles, fire officials said. The first fire unit arrived on the scene within 5 minutes and found heavy black smoke coming from the top of the restaurant, officials said.
Crews began an aggressive fire attack and initiated a search of the building for occupants, the fire department reported. The fire was contained to the building’s roof, exterior deck and second floor, and brought under control within 30 minutes. There was smoke damage throughout the building.
Rizzo’s will be closed while repairs are made, Sander said. He couldn’t provide an estimate for how long the repairs will take. Rizzo’s sits on Jefferson between Noodles and Company and Perle Jewelers. Sander said Noodles and Company sustained a small amount of water damage as a result of the fire, but that other nearby buildings were not affected.
Shauna Rhodes, a Naperville resident, stood and watched as investigators worked at the scene on Sunday morning.
“You hate to see this,” she said. “This is such a nice downtown. I hope Rizzo’s opens back up soon.”
The Naperville Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Naperville Police Department, Naperville’s Emergency Management Agency, the DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force and several other agencies. The Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Lisle-Woodridge, Lockport, Plainfield, Warrenville and Wheaton fire departments provided coverage at Naperville’s fire stations, authorities said.
A famous Naperville restaurant went up in flames overnight.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports as many as 50 firefighters responded to the blaze at Grandma Sally’s Family Restaurant at 450 E. Ogden Av.
Since the late 1970s, people have been visiting Grandma Sally’s to try the famous cheesecake, waffles, and pancakes. Unfortunately for its owners, employees, and customers, the restaurant was all but destroyed by an early morning fire.
Firefighters were called to the restaurant around 2:15 a.m., and when they arrived, they found a tower of flames shooting through the roof.
No one was inside, so firefighters quickly went into a defensive mode to douse the heavy flames. Crews from seven area departments were called in to extinguish the fire.
“There was heavy smoke and flame. Within about a half hour or 45 minutes, we did have the bulk of the fire under control, but there was and still are some sporadic fires in the corner of the building,” Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said.
As of 6:30 a.m., crews were still working to douse hot spots at the restaurant, and keep an eye on the building in case the fire flares up again.
The building was completely gutted by the fire, and Puknaitis estimated the damage at $400,000.
Linda, a longtime waitress, said she’ll miss the regulars.
“A lot of the business was regulars,” she said. “They were good, funny.”
The cause of the blaze was under investigation.
It was the second restaurant fire in the past week in Naperville. Rizzo’s in downtown Naperville sustained about $200,000 in damages on Sunday, and was forced to close due to the fire.
Puknaitis said there does not appear to be any connection