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8 displaced, 2 restaurants closed by fire that broke out in North End

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 6/23/2022
A fire broke out in a building that houses a restaurant on Hanover Street in Boston's North End neighborhood on June 22, 2022. © WCVB/Mary Saladna A fire broke out in a building that houses a restaurant on Hanover Street in Boston's North End neighborhood on June 22, 2022.

Eight people are displaced and two restaurants are temporarily closed following a fire that broke out on the top floor of a mixed-use building that houses a restaurant in Boston's North End neighborhood on Monday.

The Boston Fire Department said it first received reports of a fire in the area of 288 Hanover St. at about 5:45 p.m. and encountered heavy smoke conditions when they arrived at the building.

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Sky5 showed firefighters working on the roof of the building that houses Ristorante Saraceno on the first and second floors and apartments in the third and fourth floors above it.

"I was right outside of the front door and I heard the alarm and the fire trucks, and we stepped out and that's all I saw," said Marinela Stefan, an employee of Ristorante Saraceno.

Boston fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said a second alarm was struck early and crews were able to knock down the fire on the interior of the fourth floor shortly after 6:30 p.m.

"Access was difficult. As you know in the North End, as tight as it is, the outdoor dining doesn't help with that," Dempsey said.

Dempsey said there were no injuries among civilians or firefighters, but noted that two dogs were rescued from the building.

The owner of the dogs was not home at the time of the fire and called a neighbor, pleading to make sure they were saved.

"(The firefighters) were able to bring the dogs out to the rightful owner, so it was a happy ending," said Jeanne MacDonald.

Hanover Street remained closed to traffic Wednesday night while firefighters remained at the scene to monitor hot spots.


Video: North End fire that closed two restaurants under investigation (WCVB Boston)

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Many restaurants are in the area where the fire broke out, including Bella Vista and Trattoria Il Panino, which are on either side of Ristorante Saraceno.

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Ristorante Saraceno and Bella Vista are now closed as the owners assess water damage. Trattoria Il Panino owner Frank DePasquale said both Ristorante Saraceno and Bella Vista are owned by the same family.

"Such hard, hard workers. They're here every morning, every afternoon, every night and they put in their heart and soul, as we all do over here," DePasquale said. "To have something like this happen, it's sad and I hope that everyone comes here to support (them)."

Dempsey estimates that Ristorante Saraceno and Bella Vista should be able to reopen within a few days.

"Nobody hurt. We kept the fire from spreading. They'll be back in business pretty quick," he said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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