Fire, Propane Explosions Damage Gingham

More Photos Below.

LA MESA -- Fire early Sunday severely damaged the exterior of rear of Gingham Restaurant and propane explosions set off car alarms and woke neighbors in the blocks around the restaurant.

Quick work by Heartland Fire & Rescue, however, contained most of the damage to the outside of the restaurant, which has quickly become a La Mesa icon since it opened a year ago.

Lisa Trees (photo right), who lives directly across Allison Street from the restaurant said her next door neighbor saw flames outside the restaurant's rear door, which is located close to the entrance to McCrea Music Store nearby.

Neighbors report flames quickly rose to above the height of the building as fire fighters arrived.
Heartland Public Information Officer Sonny Saghera said fire fighters quickly determined that there were up to 20 propane tanks stored and they pulled back, called in overhead ladder trucks and began evacuating neighbors from the closest homes.

As neighbors waited up at the end of the block up to three explosions rocked the neighborhood as propane tanks exploded.
Fire fighters said the tanks were apparently stored for use on the restaurant's outdoor patio heaters.

In the end, much of the rear exterior was damaged and a grill and unexploded propane tanks were left in a charred rubble.

The restaurant's head chef Ryan Studebaker was on the scene shortly before 7 a.m.  and quickly determined the restaurant would be closed for Sunday as fire investigators determined the cause of the blaze.

Inside the restaurant (see photo below) there was little visible damage but water did flow in the rear door and puddles could be seen immediately behind the reception desk and back to the rear door. There was some smoke damage inside as well.

Neighbor Lisa Trees and other neighbors who had witnessed the fire at its worst were back in their homes and were thanking the fire fighters individually for their effort to save the restaurant and keep the blaze from doing worse damage.


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Tags: Gingham Restaurant, Gingham fire, Heartland Fire & Rescue, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news


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Comment by Cosas Chaparitas on December 9, 2012 at 1:19pm
I had dinner there last night!! It was excellent as always! Hope they're back up & running soon :)

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