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Mesa Mexican food restaurant La Patrona destroyed in overnight fire

La Patrona fire
Posted at 4:53 AM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-08 09:11:30-05

MESA, AZ — A Mexican food restaurant in Mesa was destroyed by a massive fire overnight.

Fire officials say they were called to the area of Main Street and Stapley Drive when a two-alarm fire broke out at the La Patrona restaurant.

Flames were shooting from the building when ABC15 crews arrived on scene. Firefighters battled the blaze defensively and were unable to get inside the building due to heat and smoke.

The restaurant is considered a total loss.

Mesa fire officials say the building was unoccupied at the time of the blaze and no injuries were reported.

Workers at La Patrona Mexican cuisine say they are heartbroken for the owners after flames ripped through the eatery.

ABC15 spoke to a woman who works at the restaurant. She said everyone who worked there was like a family.

The owner of the restaurant, Ciro Garcia, said he and his wife Carmen opened the restaurant in May. It was their only restaurant and they were renting the space from the building owners.

"It was a lot more damage than I thought. The place was totally obliterated," said Brad Cook, the general manager of Millennium Auto Network, located next to La Patrona.

About a dozen of the cars at the rental business were damaged when a part of the restaurant's roof fell on top of them.

Cook said it'll hurt business, but considering the severity of the fire, things could've been a lot worse for everyone.

"Nobody got hurt, so that's the most important. You can rebuild a building, you can't put someone back to life," said Cook.

People who live in the area said the building has been several different restaurants throughout the year. Before La Patrona, it was Casa Ramos, which closed a few years ago.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.