Interested in learning more about fire protection for restaurants? Click here
Polk TWP, PA -- Investigators are working to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a popular restaurant on Sunday morning.
At 4:30am, only 2 hours after the restaurant closed for the night, a fire started at the Luna Rossa Cafe, and destroyed the restaurant. "All of a sudden, the whole middle of the building was just in flames. It was pouring up - big, dark clouds of black smoke," said neighbor Denise Averill.
The restaurant was a well-known late night eatery. "That building's been here for - well, longer than I've been alive," said Polk Township Fire Chief Billy Tippett.
It took 12 fire companies several hours to control the fire. The building was a complete loss. Now, workers are trying to figure out what's next.
Owner Silvio Vitiello said, "It's everything for me. We have over 24 employees here and those are the people I'm worried about right now."
Former employee Stephanie Angelica watched as investigators went through the rubble, "It touched you in a spot. It's like, depressing. It's like, I have a lot of memories and a lot of things happened here, good and bad, but it's just a place you won't forget."
Vitiello admits the restaurant was for sale. However, he does insist that he has plans to rebuild.
"It's still a business," he said. "It's a life for me."
The fire marshal said the fire cause is still unknown. The restaurant was fully insured.