PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Firefighters were called to a three-alarm blaze at a restaurant in Market Square Monday afternoon.
According to KDKA-TV’s John Shumway, the fire may have started above a pizza oven at the restaurant NOLA, that sits behind Brueggers’ wall around 12:30 p.m.
“Yeah, it started with the wood-burning pizza oven,” said NOLA employee Carl Lattimer.
Sources tells KDKA-TV that the fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage. And Pittsburgh Building inspectors have begun taking a close look to see if building code violations may have played a part in the Market Square fire.
Witnesses described heavy smoke coming from the restaurant. Those inside said the sprinklers also came on.
NOLA employee Stephanie Getty said, “right above the pizza oven, smoke started to pour out, the sprinklers came on, and the ceiling started to collapse.”
A chef at the restaurant was treated and released at a hospital for second and third-degree burns to the arms, and hands, when he tried to extinguish the flames and plastic, and other materials fell from the ceiling above the wood-fired oven.
Employees say customers still asked to pay their bills.
“My guests were actually very kind, saying, ‘do you want us to pay you money? Do you want us to close our checks?'” said server Michael Stanek. “Like, no, just leave. You’re worth more than that.”
Streets were blocked off in the area.
Watch Ralph Iannotti’s report:
Neighboring Bruegger’s Bagels and the Perle champagne bar above NOLA were also damaged in the fire.
Several NOLA employees said that construction work was going on upstairs from the restaurant Monday, but, it’s not known if that work was contributed to the fire, or the way in which it spread.
RAW VIDEO OF FIRE: