A popular high-end Italian restaurant on The Hill caught fire Wednesday afternoon.
Giovanni's On the Hill, located at 5201 Shaw Avenue, caught fire just before 4:00 p.m., Wednesday.
Fire crews were on the scene shortly after, and according to St. Louis Fire Department's Twitter account, it was a first alarm fire.
According to St. Louis Fire Chief, Dennis Jenkerson, the fire burned through the roof, and the second floor has extensive damage. Eight people were inside, including the owner, a manager, four employees, and two electricians, but everyone evacuated safely with no injuries.
Also according to Jenkerson, the electricians were working inside at the time of the fire. The owner, Carmelo Gabriele, said they are certain the cause of the fire was electrical, and repairs had been ongoing for about a week.
“One of the electricians ran upstairs with a fire extinguisher saying ‘something’s happening. There’s a short’ and he couldn’t put it out,” said Gabriele.
Gabriele is hopeful the restaurant will reopen in a couple of months, following repairs to the dining room that sustained water damage during the fight against the fire.
Hannah Casey works at the coffee shop across the street and said she called the restaurant when her customers noticed smoke.
“I was like ‘You’re building’s on fire!’ They said, ‘What? Who told you that?’ I said, ‘I’m watching it,’” recalled Casey.
An investigation is ongoing, and currently a cause of the fire has not been determined by the St. Louis Fire Department
A photo sent in to News 4 shows fire crews on scene fighting the fire, with flames flowing from a second story window.
News 4 will continue to update this story as details become available.
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