Fires

Fire closes FlapJacks Diner in Sacramento’s Arden area

Two-alarm fire closes Arden-area restaurant

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire crews arrived at FlapJacks Diner in the Midway Shopping Center off El Camino Avenue, east of Fulton late on Saturday July 23, 2016. The fire quickly spread to the attic and a second alarm was raised, bringing nine engi
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Sacramento Metropolitan Fire crews arrived at FlapJacks Diner in the Midway Shopping Center off El Camino Avenue, east of Fulton late on Saturday July 23, 2016. The fire quickly spread to the attic and a second alarm was raised, bringing nine engi

FlapJacks Diner in the Arden area will likely be closed for four months following a Saturday evening fire that officials attributed to an electrical short in a kitchen ice maker.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews went to the restaurant at 2721 El Camino Ave. about 10:30 p.m. Saturday and saw the fire had spread to the attic, Metro Fire reported.

A second alarm brought a total of nine fire engines, three paramedics and more than 60 firefighters to contain the fire and save other buildings in the strip mall, Metro Fire’s news release stated.

No injuries were reported.

FlapJacks owner Frank Tofanelli said Sunday that he was vacationing in the Lake Tahoe area when he first heard about the fire.

“It was difficult because I wasn’t there,” he said. “I kept getting texts and pictures. It’s scary. I was just glad it wasn’t burned to the ground.”

Tofanelli bought the business in 1981 when it was called Walt’s. He changed the name to Country Waffles and then to FlapJacks in 2011.

“We have to rebuild,” he said, adding that he hopes to be able to reopen in four months.

His biggest concern, he said, is finding a way to retain his 27 employees during the rebuilding process.

Rosa Driggers, a frequent visitor of FlapJacks, said she and her boyfriend, Gordon Duff, drove by the restaurant around 11 p.m. Saturday after going to the State Fair and noticed the fire.

“I took my boyfriend there for the first time (Saturday morning) and now this,” Driggers said. “I like their waitresses; they are awesome. They feed you way too much.”

The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, specializing in waffles, pancakes, egg dishes, burgers and shakes.

Jessica Hice: 916-321-1550, @JesserPea

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire crews arrived at FlapJacks Diner in the Midway Shopping Center off El Camino Avenue, east of Fulton late on Saturday July 23, 2016. The fire quickly spread to the attic and a second alarm was raised, bringing nine engi

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