A fire broke out at Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico restaurant on Bethany Home Road earlier this afternoon, and is still raging as firefighters attempt to put out the blaze.
One of the owners reported the fire at 2:02 this afternoon, according to Phoenix Fire Department Spokesman Dorian Jackson. By the time the first firemen arrived--four minutes after the 9-11 call was placed--fire was already blazing out of the roof.
As this was published, there were 12 fire engines, four ladders, five ambulances and close to 70 firemen on the scene, attempting to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings in the strip mall. So far, there were no injuries.
Richarson's is the second restaurant owned by Richardson Browne to catch fire in the past two years: The European-style restaurant Rokerij was closed for months when someone threw Molotov cocktails onto the restaurant's roof in July 2007, the Phoenix Fire Department reports .
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Is this case also an arson? Jackson's not so sure.
"It's still way to early to determine how the fire started," says Jackson. "Right now we're just trying to stop the fire from spreading."
Though the fire appears to be contained, firefighters will likely remain on the scene late into the night.
More information about the restaurants can be found at Browne's Web site, www.burningembersphoenix.com.