Two employees got out safely after a kitchen fire erupted at the pizza restaurant Thursday afternoon, and no one was hurt, police and firefighters at the scene said.
Firefighters from the Niles, North Maine, Park Ridge, Morton Grove and Glenview fire departments responded at the scene.
"We got a call around 4:10, and the fire was out by quarter to five," said Niles Fire Chief Steve Borkowski.
Open flames were shooting out the restaurant's front windows when responders arrived, making it necessary for police to shut down Milwaukee Avenue and cordon off a large area around the restaurant. Police routed the heavy rush hour traffic through side streets.
"My understanding is that the heat broke the window and flames were coming out," Borkowski said.
After firefighters put out the flames, Niles units remained on the scene for about an hour looking for spot fires. As they used tools to lift and remove parts of the walls and roof, blasts of smoke occasionally burst out.
Borkowski said the fire started in the kitchen area when two workers were using a fryer.
"They were out and OK when we got here," he said.
The building's interior suffered a lot of damage, and he didn't know if it would be salvageable.
One couple who left , directly across the street, said they watched the fire and response while they were having dinner.
Bystanders gathered outside Booby's to watch firefighters put out the blaze at Rosati's. Almost each new person who arrived said something along the lines of "Well, the pizza's going to be well done."