Two-alarm fire breaks out at Sammy’s Pizza in La Jolla

Flames reach the third-story roof of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza building on Pearl Street in La Jolla, Sept. 5, 2015. The restaurant is on the ground floor, but its kitchen hood (where the fire started) and vent extends to the roof. The fire was knocked out in 30 minutes.
(Tomas Soto)

A fire broke out at 6:18 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza restaurant, 702 Pearl St. in La Jolla, which resulted in smoke damage in three units of the Bella Capri Condos next door.

First arriving firefighters saw heavy smoke from the roof of the three-story building. A second alarm was called within 10 minutes. The fire was knocked down in 30 minutes, but several blocks of surrounding streets remained closed for more than four hours.

Fire officials determined the cause to be accidental, starting in the restaurant kitchen hood. Damage is estimated at $150,000 to the building and $50,000 to the contents. One firefighter sustained a minor injury.

On Sept. 6, a sign was posted at the entrance indicating the restaurant was closed by order of the Department Environment Health citing fire damage. Restaurant owners hope to re-open Sammy’s on Pearl Street in La Jolla, since it was the first Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza opened by restaurateur Sami Ladeki in 1989. It has since expanded to 17 Sammy’s locations in Southern California and the Las Vegas area.

Spectators gather at the corner of Pearl Street and Draper Avenue in La Jolla to watch firefighters extinguish the accidental fire at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza within 30 minutes on Sept. 5, 2015.
(Tomas Soto)
Nearly a dozen fire engines and ambulances are sent to the Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza fire with most of them parking along and closing down several blocks of Pearl Street for more than four hours on the night of Sept. 5, 2015.
(Daniel K. Lew)