Fire breaks out at popular Midtown restaurant

April 13, 2012 10:10:24 AM PDT
Flames lit up the Houston sky as a fire destroyed a local family's business. As investigators look for the cause of the massive blaze, those who depend on the late night pizzeria are left picking up the pieces.

Flames broke out at the Late Nite Pie pizza restaurant around 4am and burned the popular Midtown restaurant. At one point, firefighters had to pull back from fighting the blaze because it was just too intense.

Restaurant manager Raymond Pechar said, "They told me to turn the TV on. I see a 20 foot flame coming out of the restaurant."

Pecher says he had no idea only an hour after the 3am close at the Midtown restaurant best known for its late night pizza pies he'd have to face a massive fire swallowing up the newly renovated business.

Cell phone video captured the ferocious flames as they tore through the roof. Firefighters aggressively attacked the blaze while it furiously fought back. The flames were so intense that firefighters were forced out minutes before the roof collapsed. The destruction was all too much for the distraught business owner

"She's a wreck and she's pregnant," Pechar said. "I don't know what to say. She is heartbroken."

It's understandable, say owners at neighboring restaurant Harry's.

"My heart goes out to them," said Zoi Platsas. "Getting up one morning and having your livelihood go down in flames, it's very sad."

Now as fire investigators search for a cause, staff members at Late Nite Pie are searching for a answers to how they will move forward.

"A lot of pain," Pechar said. "We've busted our butts to try and get this place to come back to life the way that it was and to see it like this is just heartbreaking."

Arson investigators have not pinpointed a cause, but some firefighters say it may have started in an area of the attic. No other buildings were affected. It's likely the building will have to be torn down.


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