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Pizza restaurant beloved by locals burns down in Sunset

Posted at 5:46 AM, Jan 03, 2022

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — A pizzeria beloved by locals burned to the ground early Monday morning.

The 2-alarm fire at the Circle Inn Pizzeria started a little before midnight at its 2253 N. Main Street location in Sunset.

With the restaurant completely engulfed in flames, it took crews hours to douse the fire as they also attempted to protect a nearby furniture store.

Circle Inn Pizzeria map

By the time first responders arrived, the building's roof had already collapsed. Their big concern was trying to save Skinny Al’s furniture store, which is just a few feet away from the pizzeria.

Making things even more challenging, all the water poured onto the fire quickly turned into ice due to temperatures in the low teens.

Now that the flames are out, investigators are hoping to pinpoint what started this two-alarm fire.

Chief Mark Becraft with the North Davis Fire District said the restaurant closed at 10 p.m., and the alarm came in around 11:30 p.m.

"This is an older building — it’s unprotected, it doesn’t have a sprinkling system in it, so the fire runs really rapidly through the attic and it didn’t take long for it to spread through it," Becraft said.

Both the fire chief and the owner said the fire started in the kitchen, but they don't know why yet.

The restaurant has been in this location since 1957. The third-generation owner choked up recalling that family history.

Watch below: Fire at longstanding Utah pizzeria deals major loss to owner, community

“It’s my life. It was here before I was born,” said Garrett Schroeder. The pizzeria was started by his grandfather and has been in the family ever since.

The loss also hits members of the community who loved going there.

“The pizzas are amazing. They make their own sauce. You can get a hot or a mild or a medium," said Doug Dominguez, who has been a customer for 25 years. "I brought my daughter here when she turned 21... Me and my wife came for our first date here.”

“What now? I don’t know. Hopefully they rebuild," Dominguez added.

Schroeder says that's the plan.

“Our message to you guys would be we’re going to fight and do everything we can to rebuild this place," he said.

It’s still early, but the preliminary damage estimate is pegged at about $2 million.

Schroeder said the building was insured. The family has also started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $250,000.