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Article updated: 9/23/2013 7:40 PM

Lightning caused fire at Carpentersville pizzeria

By Lenore T. Adkins

A lightning strike was the cause of a fire at Village Pizza & Pub, a popular Carpentersville restaurant, a village fire official confirmed Monday.

Meanwhile, owners Mike and Marcie Sarillo hope to reopen the carry-out portion of the eatery by the end of the week, said Jackie Morse, a manager at the eatery's Elgin location. The rest of the restaurant is expected to open within four weeks.

The fire caused extensive damage to the part of the pizzeria's roof above the dining area but did not touch the kitchen, Deputy Fire Chief John Skillman said. The owners were working with the village's community development department to secure demolition permits so they could remove the chimney that fell into the attic, Skillman said.

"It's all good inside, minimal damage inside," he said.

After the fire occurred Thursday, pizzeria employees speculated a bolt of lightning hit the restaurant early in the morning, festered and caused the early afternoon fire. A damage estimate still isn't available, officials said.

There were about 10,000 lightning strikes in the Chicago area that morning, Skillman said. Fire personnel interviewed about a dozen witnesses in the vicinity of Village Pizza who all said they heard a loud boom at 8:45 a.m., he added.

Village Pizza, known for its double-decker pizza, has been part of the Carpentersville community since 1978. The location the lightning hit was built three years ago and at least five people worked there.

Those workers have first crack at any open shifts at the restaurant's Elgin location, Morse said. What's more, many employees at the Elgin location have been giving up their shifts so the ones affected by the fire could work.

"It is like a second family here. Everybody here is really close," Morse said. "It's not like a normal job."

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