Romano's damaged in fire

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 7, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — Investigators are still looking into the cause of a fire Wednesday night that gutted Romano’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria at 1510 W. Innes St.
About 40 firefighters from all four Salisbury Fire stations as well as Spencer and Franklin fire departments responded, according to Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell.
The Rowan County Rescue Squad and EMS personnel were also on hand, but no one was injured.
The restaurant was closed at the time of the fire.
Parnell said the call came in to dispatchers at 10:57 p.m.
According to employees on the scene, the restaurant had been closed for about an hour and everyone had left the building.
Parnell said firefighters arrived to find the fire spreading from the kitchen into the attic.
He declined to speculate on a cause, saying the investigation would continue today.
Smoke poured from the rear of the restaurant and banked under the eaves.
Flames briefly broke through the roof.
Mindy Pendergrass of Salisbury watched from a nearby parking lot, visibly shaken.
She said she’d just started working at Romano’s as a waitress Wednesday morning.
“This is terrible,” she said. Pendergrass said she lives just two blocks from the restaurant and came as soon as she heard about the fire.
The restaurant is owned by the Georgiou family, who also own the nearby Palms Cafe located at 1609 W. Innes St.
The Post was unable to contact the owners Wednesday night.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.