Fire destroys South Chicago restaurant Capri's Pizza; Cause under investigation

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Fire ripped through several buildings on Chicago's South Side Sunday, and one of them was a restaurant that's been there for generations.

Capri's Pizza has been in business for more than 60 years. The owners are devastated and heartbroken by this fire.

"I'm a little emotional. My father brought me to that store when I was 8-years-old and it just breaks my heart," said Capri's co-owner, Len Ciannamea.

It took five hours for firefighters to put out the flames at the restaurant. At around 2:30 p.m., the fire broke out at 8820 South Commercial Avenue.

The fire department said more units were called to work the fire as it spread to two other buildings and the effort was complicated by high winds.

"This was a very, very quiet place," said neighbor Barbara Frison. "It's just amazing to see this because you don't see fires like this."

The popular family owned restaurant in South Chicago has been serving the community for generations.

Capri's Pizza opened in 1955 and the owners say they are thanking God that no one was injured.
The owners are in shock and are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from their customers.

"I've got one customer that responded from Australia, Escondido, California, from Texas from Alaska," Len Ciannamea said.

"It feels so nice that that's the first thing they go to in their mind is 'we want to help them get back on their feet," Ben Ciannamea said.

While the loss is still fresh for the Ciannamea family, they are certain they will make a comeback.

"We're going to be back and we're going to be serving that great pizza, that south side pizza that we've had for years," Len Ciannamea said.
Capri's owners said they don't have a timeline on when the South Chicago location will reopen, but say if you do want to support them they have two other locations in Crown Point and Schererville, Indiana.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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