Fire forces pizza shop to evacuate - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Fire forces pizza shop to evacuate

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – Crews were called to Ruggerio's Pizza Shop on Carmen Road in Guilderland shortly after five Friday evening after people reported seeing flames and smoke coming from the roof of a strip mall that the pizza shop is in. 

"My daughter yelled, 'everybody out, everybody out," said Ida Ruggerio who owns Ruggerio's pizza.

The Ruggerio's family owns the pizza shop on Carmen Road in Guilderland. Ida said she was inside when "two customers came in and said that they smelled gas," said Ruggerio.

Her daughter went to check on the gas but found nothing.

"A few minutes later another customer came in and said that there was fire on top of our roof," said Ruggerio.

They evacuated the restaurant and called 911.

"The first unit here was a police unit," said Guilderland Public Information Officer Sean Maguire.  "[The police officer] evacuated the building immediately, and the fire department, when they got here got right to work."

Maguire said flames were seen coming from the roof of Ruggerio's pizza when the fire department arrived.

"They saw some visible smoke and flame coming from the second roof here on the building, and they went right to work with their ladder-truck and crews to knock that down," said Maguire.

Tom Hoffman has owned the building for 17 years, the Ruggerio's have been in the building for 14 years.

"My first reaction was to get up here and make sure no one was hurt," said Hoffman.  "They didn't know when they called me, they only knew that the place was on fire."

Maguire says no injuries were reported on scene and everyone inside made it out safe.

"I feel bad because this is the busiest time of the year for them," said Hoffman.  "I was just talking with the owner and he said that next week they're booked solid with orders."

"My heart goes out to our employees because it is Christmas, and that's what I feel bad about," said Ruggerio.

The Ruggerio's own another pizza shop in Scotia. 

"Between the two stores we've never had anything like this, this is devastating," said Ruggerio.  

But they plan to stay and reopen, and the building owner plans to rebuild as soon as possible.

"All of this can be replaced, so as long as nobody got hurt, it's okay," said Hoffman.

"I'm very thankful to the Lord that we were able to get out with no injuries," said Ruggerio.

Fire crews cut holes into the roof to allow the building to ventilate overnight.  Investigators will be here Saturday morning to try and determine a cause.

The Ruggerio's say they plan to fill orders that were scheduled for next week. People interested in contacting them about their order can reach them at 518-399-1247.

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