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Home / Neighborhood / Restaurant in downtown Riverside consumed by fire

Restaurant in downtown Riverside consumed by fire

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A shuttered restaurant in downtown Riverside was consumed by fire Tuesday, possibly started by transients staying inside the building.

The non-injury blaze was reported about 6:40 a.m. in the permanently closed Mr. T’s Restaurant at 4307 Main St., near 13th Street, according to the Riverside Fire Department.

Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst said that five engine crews and two truck companies, numbering about 30 personnel, were sent to the location and encountered flames raging in half the structure.

“Firefighters attempted to extinguish the fire; however, due to the structural integrity with previous fire damage, the fire became a defensive operation,” Vanderhorst said.

As crews were working on containment, a homeless man tried to dash inside the building to “retrieve his belongings” but was held back by Riverside police officers, according to the battalion chief.

The flames were brought under control about 10:30 a.m. The building was declared a complete loss, with damage totaling $1 million, Vanderhorst said.

He said that arson investigators were requested to determine whether the blaze was the result of an intentional ignition, a warming fire or something else human-caused.

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