Augie's Fire: Italian Restaurant in Ballston Spa, NY, Destroyed by Blaze

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 04:31 PM

By Michael Mullins

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A fire at Augie's, the well-known family style Italian restaurant in Ballston Spa, N.Y.,   destroyed the establishment early Monday morning.

The fire, which began around 4:30 a.m., is still under investigation, CBS Albany reported.

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Within six hours, firefighters from several different departments were tearing down the remains of the structure that was once Augie's restaurant, The Saratogian reported.

"I shot down here real quick and saw the mayhem and the structure of the building and I was a little taken aback," Augie's owner, Augie Vitiello, told reporters at the scene as firefighters continued to work on the smoking building in the background. "But you know, you look at it and you see these great guys going in there and trying to fight the fire, and you say, they’re doing what they have to do."

Vitiello said he would rebuild quickly, already discussing plans to find a temporary location with reporters at the scene, The Saratogian reported.

"You know what, we’ll be back," Vitiello added. "We’re going to rebuild this place and feed people again. It’s what we do. Thank God that no one was hurt, and everyone will walk away and come back to fight another day."

Vitiello told reporters that fire officials informed him that the fire began in the basement, where he said the restaurant stores its dry goods among other items, including an electrical panel.

Vitiello added that the restaurant's manager closed the restaurant last night at approximately 11 p.m., at which time there was nothing out of the ordinary, The Saratogian reported.

Born and raised in the New York City borough of the Bronx, Vitiello learned how to cook Italian food from watching his parents cook growing up.

Before opening up his current restaurant in Ballston Spa, which is approximately 7 miles southwest of Saratoga Springs, Vitiello was at the helm of a very successful restaurant in Larchmont, N.Y.

Vitiello told reporters that he was humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.

The fire departments at the scene were the Saratoga County Fire Services, Round Lake Fire Department, Eagle-Matt Lee Fire Company, and Malta Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.

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Related stories:

Woman Missing, 14 Hurt After Gas Blast Levels Restaurant

Four Firefighters Die, 13 Injured Battling Large Houston Fire

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