A fire broke out behind the walk-in cooler at Tomassoni’s Wood Fired Pizza in East Burke Village Thursday morning.
It was less than a week after the pizza shop’s grand opening on Friday.
The East Burke Volunteer Fire Brigade responded and Chief Wayne Greer said locating the fire was a lot easier than accessing it.
“We had a light smoke condition in the building,” said Chief Greer as he commanded the scene. “Crews found a fire in behind the walk-in cooler and we’re having an awful time trying to get to it. But they’re working at it right now … It’s built into the wall and it’s stone around it and beams over it and they’re trying to find a way to get in without doing too much damage.”
State fire investigators were later called to the scene.
The cause was determined to be accidental and the origin of the fire was found to be the smoldering wood-fired pizza oven which ignited some nearby combustible materials in proximity to the walk-in cooler.
There is some water and smoke damage to the building, but firefighters also had to pull the walk-in cooler from the wall to access the fire and extinguish it.
“It was the only way we could get to it,” said Chief Greer.
It’s the second fire at the Route 114 eatery in the last five months.
On July 8, a fire in the chimney used to vent the wood-fired pizza oven forced the postponement of the shop’s original grand opening which was scheduled for July 10.
On Thursday, restaurant owner, John Tomassoni said he saw smoke in the building when he arrived to make pizza dough at about 5:30 a.m. and called for help.
“I start dough early,” said Tomassoni. “I’m lucky I came in when I did this morning. The whole building could have been gone.”
But despite the latest setback, planning is already underway to fix the damage and re-open the pizza shop as soon as possible.
“A hundred percent,” said Tomassoni. “The grand opening was amazing.”
Multiple fire departments from surrounding communities responded to assist at the scene and for station coverage. No injuries were reported.