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updated: 7/18/2014 11:40 PM

Tears, hugs and prayers after fire ravages Naperville's Grandma Sally's

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  • Video: Fire at Grandma Sally's

  • Naperville firefighters are investigating the cause of an early morning fire that caused extensive damage Friday to an Ogden Avenue restaurant. No injuries were reported in the blaze that was first spotted around 2:15 a.m.

      Naperville firefighters are investigating the cause of an early morning fire that caused extensive damage Friday to an Ogden Avenue restaurant. No injuries were reported in the blaze that was first spotted around 2:15 a.m.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • An early morning fire caused extensive damage Friday to Grandma Sally's Family Restaurant on Ogden Avenue in Naperville. Authorities estimated the damage near $400,000.

      An early morning fire caused extensive damage Friday to Grandma Sally's Family Restaurant on Ogden Avenue in Naperville. Authorities estimated the damage near $400,000.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Fire damaged all of Grandma Sally's Family Restaurant in Naperville, but the damage appeared worst at the rear of the building.

      Fire damaged all of Grandma Sally's Family Restaurant in Naperville, but the damage appeared worst at the rear of the building.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • One of the owners of Grandma Sally's gets a hug after fire did extensive damage to the restaurant Friday morning in Naperville.

      One of the owners of Grandma Sally's gets a hug after fire did extensive damage to the restaurant Friday morning in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Crews clean up after an overnight fire caused extensive damage to Grandma Sally's in Naperville.

      Crews clean up after an overnight fire caused extensive damage to Grandma Sally's in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville firefighters are trying to determine what sparked a blaze early Friday morning at the Grandma Sally's restaurant on Ogden Avenue.

      Naperville firefighters are trying to determine what sparked a blaze early Friday morning at the Grandma Sally's restaurant on Ogden Avenue.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Employees of Grandma Sally's check out the fire damage Friday.

      Employees of Grandma Sally's check out the fire damage Friday.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

For 20 years, Naperville residents Susan and Bill Kazmierski have enjoyed pancakes and omelettes at the original Grandma Sally's Family Restaurant in Naperville.

On Friday morning, Susan stood near the fire-ravaged restaurant's east entrance on Ogden Avenue and shed a tear.

"It's really sad. They've been here so long and they've been a part of so many of our Saturday mornings," she said. "I hope they can clean it up, stick around and make it work."

It will be a long way back in the wake of the early morning blaze that swept through the one-story building at 450 E. Ogden Ave., causing an estimated $400,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

Naperville fire investigators are working to determine what triggered the blaze.

"This fire is still under investigation and we don't know what the cause is," Deputy Chief Rick Sander said. "But the main body of the fire was definitely located in the rear kitchen area of the building. The southwest portion of the building was heavily damaged."

Repair crews were on the scene Friday afternoon boarding up the building and cleaning debris from the perimeter. All of the windows at the front of the restaurant were broken, the siding appeared to have melted off the west side of the building and smoke damage was visible on the entire exterior.

Several well-wishers, many who declined to be interviewed, also stopped by to offer hugs, words of support and in one case, a prayer with one of the owners and his family.

Other customers, unaware of the fire, pulled into the parking lot before crews taped off the entrance around 10:30 a.m.

A man identified as one of the restaurant's owners was at the scene but declined to comment.

Sander said firefighters responded to an alarm at 2:17 a.m. A passer-by called a minute later and told dispatchers heavy black smoke and fire was coming from the rear of the restaurant.

Sander said firefighters found heavy fire inside the building and worked for about an hour to suppress the blaze. A strong smell still engulfed the property Friday afternoon.

Naperville firefighters were assisted at the scene by the Naperville Police Department, Naperville's Emergency Management Agency, the DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force and several other agencies.

Firefighters from Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Lisle-Woodridge, Lockport, Plainfield, Wheaton and Winfield provided coverage at Naperville's fire stations during the blaze.

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