HUDSON: The weekend fire at Zeppe’s Pizza threatened not only the business, but also a bit of family history.
Gina Ciresi, a co-owner of the restaurant, is a former opera singer who has performed with the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti. The walls of the restaurant are lined with pictures of Pavarotti, including several with Ciresi and Pavarotti together.
Her daughter and co-owner Gianna Ciresi said that thankfully “none of the memorabilia was lost” when the restaurant caught fire Saturday.
Ciresi said the business was fortunate that retired Orange fire Chief Bruce White happened to be at the plaza when the fire started. The chief ran into the restaurant and helped put out the fire with an extinguisher.
“He saw everybody running out, and he ran in. My cook was trying to put out the fire and it was getting too big. ... [White] kind of saved the day,” Ciresi said.
Hudson fire officials said the fire was accidental and originated in a water heater in a utility room.
Witnesses said there were several explosions. Officials said the loud “pops” were aerosol cans exploding in the heat.
There was significant smoke in the restaurant as well as other portions of the Darrow Road plaza, including OK Cleaners, Verizon Wireless and Asian Sun Martial Arts.
There were no injuries.
The restaurant will be closed until at least Thursday for repairs.
“We are so grateful [that no one was injured],” Gianna Ciresi said.