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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mysterious fire breaks out at Domino’s

    Firefighters from the Tucson Fire Department put out smoldering debris after a fire erupted behind Dominos on Park Avenue last night.
    Firefighters from the Tucson Fire Department put out smoldering debris after a fire erupted behind Dominos on Park Avenue last night.

    A fire broke out behind Domino’s pizza on North Park Avenue last night, clearing out the two businesses on either side of the restaurant in the small strip of stores just south of East Speedway Boulevard.

    After seeing smoke coming from the back of the building, Man Bui, owner of Marcusi Spa, hurried into Domino’s, 1033 N. Park Ave., to warn the employees.

    “”I was at the front door and saw the smoke,”” Bui said. “”I told him to call 911 and opened the door to check.””

    Domino’s general manager Dallas Elkins tried to put out the fire himself.

    “”I opened up the back door and saw flames and tried to use the fire extinguisher, but it didn’t help,”” Elkins said.

    Elkins said he evacuated his employees right away. There were no customers in the shop when the fire started.

    Tucson Fire Department Capt. Mark Booth said the fire appeared to be an accident, though its cause is unknown. There were no injuries.

    The fire only took two minutes to put out, he said, as “”it was all outside the building.””

    Some telephone lines to the building were damaged, but there was no structural damage.

    Elkins said he thought that early intervention helped keep the fire to a minimum.

    “”Good thing we used all those fire extinguishers,”” he said. “”It could have been a lot worse.””

    Ari Babam, owner of Ari’s Fine Food Market and Deli, which is two doors down from the pizza place, said when he heard there was a fire, he ran outside and saw the flames.

    Babam said the fire may have been caused by a homeless man who often slept behind the building.

    “”He thinks it’s his place,”” he added. “”It looked like it started where he lived.””

    The police had moved the homeless man away from the building earlier in the day, Babam said, and he stayed away for about two hours.

    “”All of the stores have restraining orders (against him),”” Babam said, adding that the man often leaves old clothing and cardboard behind the pizza restaurant.

    Elkins said he was aware of the homeless man, while Booth said he wasn’t aware of him.

    About a week ago, Elkins said he thought the man was arrested for two warrants and one count of stalking, but that he had not seen him since.

    One of the restaurant’s delivery drivers saw the smoke from a mile away, as he was driving down Speedway near Campbell Avenue.

    “”I know this building, so I knew it was on fire,”” he said.

    Landers said he rushed back to the restaurant to warn everyone, but they already knew.

    “”I think this guy right here is a hero,”” he said of Bui.

    While the building was safe for people to go into, Booth said TFD had to call in the health department because the fire was in a restaurant.

    The health department checked the food to make sure it was safe, he said.

    Elkins said the health department made him throw out about a couple of hundred dollars worth of food before the restaurant could reopen, though he didn’t have an exact monetary figure.

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