January 24, 2011

Restaurant Seriously Damaged After Fire Near the Commons

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A fire at Prize Diner caused serious damage to the restaurant and an adjoining storefront on Monday night. The restaurant, at 116 West State St., was closed at the time, and no injuries were reported.The Ithaca Fire Department was called to the scene — less than a block from the Commons — around 6:20 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Tom Parsons ’82 said. Officials found fire and heavy smoke inside the one-story building, which contains Prize Diner and a computer store. Both businesses were closed when the fire began and no one appeared to be in the building, Parsons said.There was “extensive damage to the diner and to the building,” he said.Firefighters brought the blaze under control in 45 minutes, Parsons said. About 21 firefighters responded to the scene.The cause of the fire remained under investigation Monday night, but a police officer on the scene said it apparently originated in the diner’s kitchen.While firefighters were battling the fire on West State Street, another blaze was reported on the 300 block of Utica Street. The Lansing, Cayuga Heights and Newfield fire departments responded to the fire, which was contained to a kitchen stove, according to an Ithaca Police Department statement.

Original Author: Michael Linhorst