Firefighters combatted a blaze at a commercial fire near a downtown Oceanside restaurant that spread to another eatery on Saturday.
Smoke could be seen coming from the rear of Benito’s Pizza Café on the 600 block of Mission Avenue, where several firefighters quickly responded. At the scene, flames extended into neighboring business, Angry Chickz, and caused "significant fire damage" to both restaurants, according to the Oceanside Fire Department.
However, crews were able to save a nearby Dairy Queen.
Yovani Arrija, who was in the area for his nephew's football game, said he was in disbelief when he saw the blaze.
“I saw a fire and everything. I saw employees running out, pretty crazy," Arrija told NBC 7.
He added that he immediately saw flames shooting out from the building and impacting the windows.
“(I saw) big flames right away," Aririja described. "Throughout the door, they literally just came out.”
Alyssa Whitlock, who lives just several blocks from the scene, said she was notified of the fire when she received a message from a friend asking if she was OK.
“I live up the street, jammed out here and saw the fire engines," Whitlock recalled.
She added that the site of a couple of local businesses in distress was overwhelming.
“I actually walked in and started crying. It’s emotional," she said. "You want to make sure everyone is OK. This hurts the town, this hurts everybody.”
The fire response prompted authorities to shut down Mission Avenue from Nevada Street to North Coast Highway.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported in connection to the blaze.