TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Mario’s Restaurant had been a staple of the Torrington community for over 60 years before it was consumed by an early morning fire.
Just before 9 a.m., firefighters were called out to Pinewoods road.
“The owner lives locally and was working in the building and left momentarily and came back to the fire,” said David Casper, a battalion chief with the Torrington Fire Department.
A man was driving by when he stopped to take pictures as the flames were shooting through the roof.
He said, “The flames were 100 feet tall, only one fire truck was sitting right here and spraying water this way.”
Firefighters arrived on scene after the roof had collapsed.
“I watch the roof collapse right there around the chimney. I was standing right here when it fell in,” he added.
Edward Bascetta, the Torrington Fire Marshal said, “When you have a collapse like you have here, you have to worry about what could happen while you are inside. The wall could come down and any part of the structure could come down.”
Mutual aid from other towns were called in to help tackle the blaze.
“Once we were on scene, we went to a defensive operation because we had a partial collapse with the roof,” said Casper.
The owners were too distraught to talk on camera.
“The building was operable for 62 years So it’s a tragic loss for the family and our hearts go out to the family,” said Bascetta.
Locals can’t believe a restaurant with so much history is gone. A witness told News 8, “I’m 61 in here as long as I can remember.”
One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was transported to the hospital.
Local and state fire marshals are investigating.