Firefighters from Stations 69 and 23 were kept busy the day before Thanksgiving (November 27) with two fires: an early morning house fire on Asilomar and a night fire at a restaurant on Sunset.
Around 8:47 a.m., a one-story, single-family dwelling on Asilomar was reported on fire. According to LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart, Stations 23 and 69 responded. It took 36 firefighters 13 minutes to knock down the fire, which was contained to one room. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is still to be determined.
Later in the day, a security patrol officer was driving on Sunset around 9:37 p.m., when he noticed heavy smoke coming from the roof of Ritrovo Restaurant at 15415 Sunset. Fire stations 23 and 69 responded to the call.
The restaurant, which was closed, is located in a building owned by Shaun Malek, between the Shell gas station and Atria Park, an eldercare living facility that includes independent/assisted living and memory care.
The restaurant, 2,807 sq.ft. with a patio, is up for sale and listed with PAR Commercial Brokerage agent John Moudakis. The listing can be found on the Internet and includes a beer and wine license, with three years remaining on the current lease and a five-year option.
According to spokesperson Margaret Stewart, “Fire appears to have flashed (point when the contents of room that are preheated by smoldering fire and ignite at once) and burned itself out in commercial (restaurant) building just prior to LAFD arrival.” The fire did not appear to have started in the kitchen.
The interior of the restaurant was charred, and the dollar loss is to be determined. The cause is unknown, and the arson unit was called. As firefighters started to roll up their hoses and retract the ladders around 10:30 p.m., the rain started to fall.
The westbound lane of Sunset was closed at Via de la Paz for fire activity. When the DOT officer told an older lady driving that she couldn’t go west, she pulled into an eastbound traffic lane and started driving west.
She made an abrupt turn into the 76 station, narrowly missing a pedestrian and Station 23’s paramedic truck, which had lights flashing. She drove through the station and then went back to the DOT officer and started yelling at him.
Eventually she pulled out and sped down Via de la Paz, running the stop sign at the Antioch intersection by Gelson’s.