A two-alarm fire broke out at Evvia Estiatorio in downtown Palo Alto Thursday at approximately 2:30 p.m. No one was injured, firefighters reported.
Sous chef Rito Castaneda said he was in the kitchen when an employee looked up and saw smoke coming from one of the light fixtures in the ceiling. The staff called 911 and both lunch-time diners and employees evacuated the restaurant, he said.
A firefighter confirmed that the fire appeared to start in the boards between the restaurant's ceiling and room and that it was confined to that space.
At least six fire engines, plus trucks from Palo Alto and Santa Clara County responded to the incident at 420 Emerson St., according to Barbara Cimino, fire department spokesperson. Fire personnel attacked the blaze both from below and above, she said.
Crews extinguished the flames by at least 3:10 p.m., witnesses reported. But Cimino said at 3:30 p.m. that the fire would not be considered officially extinguished until all the smoldering embers were put out.
In the aftermath, soaked tables and chairs littered the sidewalk, employees huddled together in the parking lot across the street, and firefighters worked on the roof and from a fire truck ladder extended over the building.
Castaneda said the restaurant might be closed for a week.