Augie's Restaurant in Ballston Spa deemed total loss after fire
Augie Vitiello says he plans to rebuild the restaurant (NEWS10)
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – A fire broke out at Augie's Restaurant on Route 50 in Ballston Spa Monday morning, completely destroying the popular family-style Italian restaurant.
Fire officials tell NEWS10 the call came in for a fire around 4:30 a.m. The restaurant is deemed a total loss but Augie Vitiello, the owner, says he plans to rebuild as soon as possible.
Four departments responded including the Ballston Spa Fire Department, City of Saratoga Springs Fire Department, Malta Ridge Fire Department and Round Lake Fire Department.
Firefighters continued to put out hot spots throughout the morning, and say the building will be demolished.
The reality is overwhelming for Vitiello, who is only tempered now by an outpouring of support from the community.
"Getting text messages and emails from friends and people who are concerned saying can 'I do anything for you, what do you need.' It's very comforting," he said. The restaurant has been open for nine years.
Officials believe the fire started in the basement and was fueled by paper products and other restaurant supplies stored in the area. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, however they say it appears to be an electrical fire.
Chief Paul Marozzi says it quickly became a dangerous situation.
"We made the determination after a short push to go inside that it was too dangerous," he said. "The floors had become compromised so we pulled our men and fought it from the outside."
As a result of the fire, Route 50 from Route 67 closed down for the morning. The road has since re-opened.