TORRINGTON, CT (WFSB) - A restaurant in Torrington was heavily damaged during a fire on Thursday morning.
The fire was reported at Marino's Restaurant on Pinewoods Road, near Winsted Road, around 9 a.m.
When fire crews arrived, they witnessed flames shooting through the roof. At that point, the fire reached a second alarm, they said.
They had to fight it defensively because of a partial roof collapse.
Battalion Chief David Casper said a firefighter suffered minor injuries in the fight.
One person, the building owner, was inside the building but made it safely outside.
Casper said the building was heavily damaged and he wasn't sure how much of it could be saved.
On Friday, the Torrington fire marshal said the fire was rule accidental.
A worker was cooking in the kitchen when oil caught fire and spread. The fire suppression system in the kitchen was activated, but was unable to extinguish the fire, according to the fire marshal.
"The extent of the building damage was pretty sufficient that I don't know there is anything that we can save beyond this," Casper said.
The restaurant was known as a community staple.
Since the late 50s, the family-owned restaurant, now ran by a second generation brother and sister team, remained a pillar of the community.
It's known as a place to gather for joyous occasions and even the heart-wrenching events.
Channel 3 learned that a funeral party was scheduled to dine in the restaurant on Thursday as they mourn a loved one.
"Someone texted me as I was at the grocery store on the way to work and then certainly driving up the highway saw the billows of smoke," said Gia Newell.
Gia Newell of Chatterly's Banquet Facility told Eyewitness News she knew her phone would start ringing.
So far, she's accommodated a few large parties that were supposed to be at Marino's
However, she's trying to coordinate multiple small parties to meet at the same time, since her banquet rooms can fit more than 300 people.
"I really hope that they can rebuild it and make it the amazing restaurant that is has always been," said Morgan Hall.
The fire marshal said it's up to the insurance company if they will tear down the building, but the roof did collapse during the fire and there is extensive damage.