COLOMA — A popular restaurant in Hagar Township will be closed indefinitely after a fire damaged the interior of DiMaggio’s Pizza & Burgers on Wednesday morning.
“We’ll need a major cleanup, and we’ll remodel. But we’ll be fine. We’ll reopen right here,” said Izzy DiMaggio, one of four owners.
The family-owned business has been in the same spot at 6410 North M-63 near Riverside for 62 years.
“I have no guess as to when we’ll reopen, but we have insurance and once we get the go-ahead we’ll hire a company to do all the cleaning and remodeling,” DiMaggio said by telephone. “The response from North Berrien was incredible, and quick. And the mutual aid, too. They saved our building.”
North Berrien Fire Rescue was called at 6:49 a.m. after a passerby saw smoke, according to Fire Chief Michael Mattix. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the south end of the building. Fire crews from Benton Township and Covert Fire EMS responded for mutual aid, Mattix said. Crews cleared the scene at 9:07 a.m.
The restaurant sustained heavy smoke, heat and fire damage to the interior. The cause is not certain, but may have been electrical in nature, DiMaggio said. The restaurant was not open and no one was there at the time.
DiMaggio said the restaurant owners appreciate the response from the various fire departments and the loyalty of its customers. He said through the spread of social media, the family had already heard from people as far away as Florida and California by late morning on Wednesday.
Luckily, the fire happened at a time of the year when the eatery is typically not as busy.
“If this had been in July or August it would be devastating,” DiMaggio said. “Summer is our busiest time.”
Contact: jswidwa@TheHP.com, 932-0359, Twitter: @HPSwidwa