Three-alarm fire damages Geno's restaurant, apartments
A three-alarm fire at Geno's Restaurant in the Gonzaga District spread to a nearby apartment complex, displacing multiple residents and their pets.
The fire was called in at 4:15 Saturday evening. When firefighters arrived in the 1400 block of Hamilton, heavy smoke was seen coming from Geno's and from the Sinto Apartment Complex. The fire was quickly upgraded to a three-alarm fire as it was realized flames had already spread to the exterior and interior of the apartments.
Fortunately, everyone made it out of the restaurant and apartment complex unhurt. Carol Riehle heard the initial 'pop' of the fire at Geno's, she says, but didn't think her apartment was threatened.
"The next thing I know is I'm, someone's beating the crap out of my door and I, they said 'get out there's a fire' and I thought 'well it's just Geno's isn't it' and they said 'no your building caught, too'," Riehle said.
She quickly grabbed her dog and cat and got them outside. She says all of the other residents also made it out, including their animals.
"I just thank the people that knocked on our doors, every one of them. There was a whole bunch that came and just started knocking on everyone's door and making sure everyone was out and I thank them so much," Riehle said, getting emotional.
She says she just signed a lease and is not sure where life will take her now. The Red Cross was on scene and got information from all of the residents who lived in seven of the eight apartment units. They will be assisting the residents in finding a place to live.
The apartment complex is owned by SNAP...
As of Saturday night, fire investigators would not say if the fire originated at Geno's Restaurant or at the apartment complex. There is heavy damage to the east portion of Geno's and the north portion of the apartments.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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