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Fire damages restaurant

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Fire crews work a fire at Giovanni's Restaurant in Fredericksburg, Sunday June 22, 2014.  ( Photo:  Jon Card/Ft. Belvoir FD, via Central Va. Fire Buffs )

Fire crews work a fire at Giovanni’s Restaurant in Fredericksburg, Sunday June 22, 2014. ( Photo by Deputy Chief Ronnie McGhee via Central Va. Fire Buffs )

By PORTSIA SMITH

The cause of a Sunday night fire that caused heavy damage to a local Italian restaurant is under investigation.

According to Deputy Chief Mike Jones of the Fredericksburg Fire Department, a passerby called 911 around 10 p.m. Sunday after seeing smoke and fire coming from the roof of Giovanni’s restaurant, formerly Roma’s Italian Restaurant, at 203 Lansdowne Road in Fredericksburg near the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds.

Fredericksburg Fire Department units were the first to arrive and confirmed that there was a significant amount of smoke and fire venting from the center are of the roof of the restaurant, Jones said.

He said the units went to the interior of the building with hoses, but didn’t see a fire, only smoke. As they began pulling down ceiling tiles, he said they found “a large volume of fire” in the attic space.

The fire was extinguished with help from a second hose line and and an aerial ladder,which crews used to  open the roof to help remove smoke and put out hot spots, he said.

Jones said no one was inside the building at the time of the fire and no firefighters were injured while putting out the fire. Fire units spent several hours overhauling the fire to make sure all of the flames were out, he said.

The origin and cause of fire are still under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office of the Fredericksburg Fire Department. More information will be released as it becomes available.

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