Fire at popular pizzeria in Lake George
The owners of a pizza shop in Lake George are feeling very fortunate on Monday. A fire tore through Giuseppe's Pizzeria, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. However, as our Solomon Syed reports, it could have been much worse.
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LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- Fire ripped through one of the most popular eateries in Lake George on Monday, tying up the business for several hours on the village's busiest strip.
"About 9:30 this morning, a report of smoke in the building. Kitchen area is the worst. Smoke and water throughout the first floor," explained Allan Moon, Lake George Fire Chief.
Dino Chiaravalle owns the family operated Giuseppe's Pizzeria, which has been a fixture on Canada Street for 30 years.
"I have many employees that rely on the daily business we do here, and of course our repeat customers," said Chiaravalle.
The restaurant could have lost much more though.
"My daughter and son-in-law help me operate the business. They live upstairs," Chiaravalle noted.
While the fire was burning downstairs, the two family members that live upstairs had no idea what was going on below them. Thankfully, a good samaritan came to the rescue.
"Someone would do it for me, so I'd do it for anyone," said Michael Kenny, the good samaritan.
Kenny could see the smoke billowing from the hotel he works at across the street from the pizzeria.
"So I walked over there, felt the door and it was hot, so we started knocking on the door, trying to get people out," explained Kenny.
Chiaravalle said, "That was our scariest moment. So once I heard they were out of the building, a huge cloud lifted off my shoulders."
That was a silver lining on a day when the family learned the busy eatery, which generates thousands in revenue every day during the summer, will have to be gutted before it can reopen. Investigators believe an electrical problem with one of the kitchen's coolers may be to blame.
"My daughter who lives upstairs is safe, so anything that happens after that is just structural or business," Chiaravalle said.