MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Over the last two days, dozens of heartbroken Moses Lake locals have driven by Chico's to pay respects to their favorite pizza parlor. After all, it was more of an institution that a restaurant.
Whether it was on social media or through word of mouth - news of Saturday night's fire spread almost as fast as the flames
"I just couldn't believe it when my friend told me," explained Moses Lake native Paul Lindsay. "'Chico's? You're kidding.' It's been a staple in Moses Lake forever, and I just can't believe what happened."
The fire is still officially under investigation, but, according to cell phone video and a post on the restaurant's Facebook page, it appears it started in the oven. Fortunately, through quick actions from the staff, the crowded dining room was cleared without anyone getting hurt. Chico's, however, was devastated.
"It's a place where you have class reunions," lamented Duke Wood, who graduated from Moses Lake High School in 1985. "You come back to Moses Lake and that's where you go is to Chico's Pizza. It's a piece of history that's gone now."
First built closer to the lake in 1958, Chico's moved to it's current location on West Valley road in 1972. Since then - the pizza parlor has been the heart and soul of Moses Lake.
"You always see someone you know in here, such a great place," sighed Lindsay.
Owner Mitch Zornes said he's optimistic that Chico's will be back up and running in 4 to 8 months.
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