Ristorante Piccolo, located near the C & O Canal on 31st Street, was destroyed by a fire early Monday morning, according to the D.C. Fire Department.

The restaurant burned down at around 5:15 a.m., nearly seven hours after it closed on Sunday night, according to an Oct. 20 Fox D.C. news release. According to the release, the fire began in the restaurant’s basement kitchen before spreading through the ceilings and walls of the building and destroying its interior.

At the time of the fire, the restaurant was vacant, and no one was injured.

D.C. Fire Department Spokesman Alan Etter said that the fire was an accident, caused by “heat radiating through ventilation ducts in the basement through walls on the first and second floors.”

Approximately 110 firefighters responded to the fire, according to an Oct. 22 Insurance Journal article, but Etter said the building was already engulfed in flames when DCFD arrived on the scene.

The fire caused approximately one million dollars in damage to the restaurant, according to the Insurance Journal article.

Etter said that fires of this scale are rare among commercial establishments in D.C.

o Jaldi, one of the restaurant’s managers, said that the employee who closed the restaurant on Sunday took thorough fire safety precautions, including turning off lights, ovens and gas sources, according to the Fox D.C. article.

The article also said that nearby Italian restaurant Paper Moon plans to offer work to some of Ristorante Piccolo’s employees before the latter reopens. A representative from Paper Moon, however, was unavailable for further comment.

Although the exterior of the building does not appear to be damaged, the restaurant’s windows are boarded up, and the building was vacant as of Thursday night.

Piccolo’s management could not be reached for comment, but the restaurant’s Web site says it will reopen “as soon as possible.”

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