Fire damages Lake Geneva eatery

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012
— A downtown business sustained significant damage after a fire early Tuesday morning, according to a Lake Geneva Fire Department spokesman.

When firefighters arrived at Carvetti's, 642 W. Main St. at 1 a.m., "they encountered heavy smoke and a heavy fire load on the second floor. The fire was pretty heavily involved," said Capt. Mark Moller-Gunderson.

The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation, but it "appears some employees at closing time discovered a fire in the kitchen and attempted to put it out with extinguishers," he said. "However, the fire extended into the second floor that was mostly used for storage and contained a lot of combustibles."

The Walworth County Task Force, made up of members from the city's fire and police departments, is investigating, he said.

Lake Geneva Police Department Detective Ed Gritzner said the task force continues to investigate the fire, but "we don't think any criminal activity is involved. We just need to talk to a few more employees to see what they have to say since the kitchen appears to be where the fire originated,'' he said.

In fighting the blaze, fire crews made an aggressive interior attack while the ladder company opened the roof. Other firefighters chased down fire pockets before fire crews conducted overhaul and salvage work.

"They had the bulk of the fire knocked down in 15 to 20 minutes and prevented more serious damage from the fire that had a pretty good start," Moller-Gunderson said.

Although damage estimates were not available Tuesday, Moller-Gunderson said there was water damage to the basement and smoke and fire damage throughout the two-story structure.

A business immediately to the east and the post office west of the restaurant did not sustain any damage, he said.

"We were able to contain (the fire) to the building of origin," Moller-Gunderson said. "Fortunately there were no other structures involved."

Fire departments from Walworth, Linn, Lyons, Elkhorn, Delavan and Bloomfield provided mutual aid, he said.

No firefighters or Carvetti's employees were injured during the blaze, Moller-Gunderson said. By 7 a.m. Tuesday, security tape no longer surrounded the scene and Carvetti's employees were already beginning to clean up, Moller-Gunderson said.

Last updated: 8:50 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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