Called in by a CHP officer responding to an unrelated non-injury accident, an early morning fire on Saturday, Feb. 19 caused extensive interior damage to the well-known Rossetti’s Deli outside Escalon.
Located at the intersection of Lone Tree and Escalon-Bellota roads, this was the second time in less than four years that a fire has damaged the landmark eatery.
The call came in about 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 19, with the CHP officer enroute to an accident noticing the smoke and sounding the alarm.
“That was very fortunate for the property owner and the business owner,” Escalon Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Morriss explained of the CHP intervention. “The way the heat was building up, another hour undetected and it would have been disastrous.”
As it was, responding crews were able to contain the fire fairly quickly.
The cause appears to be electrical, said Morriss, starting underneath the front counter area.
“The actual fire damage, there was zero damage to the structure itself but there was significant damage inside due to the amount of smoke,” Morriss added.
Items low to the floor, including product and equipment, was covered with soot from the billowing smoke and the items roughly four feet and higher had heat damage and many of the fixtures were melted.
The previous fire at the Rossetti’s Corner/Michael’s Deli was in March, 2018 and was a daytime fire that forced a long-term closure of the business for repair and renovation.
Morriss said that fire started in the attic. This one, he said, should not require as lengthy a time for renovations before the business can reopen because the structure itself was not impacted.
Escalon Fire Department had Engine 1-1 on scene as well as a water tender and about eight personnel; mutual aid was called in from Farmington, which responded with two firefighters and an engine. Originally more units were called for mutual aid when the call first came in but they were not needed and were canceled prior to arrival.
Crews were on scene for about two hours Saturday morning.