San Diego

1 Apartment Uninhabitable, 2 Damaged After Kitchen Fire Scorches Sammy's Pizza in La Jolla

Some residents were evacuated and other left homeless on a holiday weekend after a two-alarm fire at a popular La Jolla pizza restaurant sent smoke pummeling above a mixed-use building. 

The fire broke out around 6:20 p.m. Saturday at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza on Pearl Street and shortly after the fire began, crews requested a second alarm response. Pearl Street was closed overnight Saturday as crews worked. 

The restaurant is housed in a mixed commercial and residential building. One apartment in that building is now uninhabitable and two others sustained minor damage from the fire. Officials estimate that the restaurant suffered $150,000 in damage and $50,000 to its contents. 

Fire officials said the cause of the fire was an accident in the restaurant kitchen hood. The place was evacuated after a worker noticed smoke coming out of the vent system, which goes through and behind residential units. Crews had to breach the wall in two apartments.

Ryan Hill, who owns of Don Carlos Taco Shop across street, said this is a constant concern for restuarant owners. 

"You always fear's something that's in the back of your head 24 hours a day," he said.

Hill said he smelled smoke and walked over to Sammy's to tell the manager.

"He's like, 'Oh no it's the wood burning stove,' and I'm like, no that's not the wood burning stove," said Hill. "He looked up and he's like, 'Oh we need to get out of here now.'"

San Diego Police evacuated people near the restaurant during the fire.

When firefighters arrived, they reported seeing heavy smoke coming from the roof. 

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 "I really have been here ten years and I've never seen that many fire trucks here...I knew it was something more severe," Allison Baher, who lives down the street, told NBC7. "It's one of the original [Sammy's] so it's pretty sad for them." /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

Police helped control traffic in the area as crews battled the fire and mopped up afterwards. 

According to officials, one firefighter sustained a minor injury. Fire officials said they don't know when the restaurant will reopen. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

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