By Nathan Grimm
June 2, 2014
WOOD RIVER — A fire late Sunday left a Wood River restaurant with a large amount of damage.
Firefighters were called to Mama Mia’s Restaurant, located at 48 W. Edwardsville Rd. in Wood River, at 11:22 p.m. Sunday for heavy smoke showing and some flames coming from the roof. The Wood River Fire Department was first on the scene, with mutual aid coming from the East Alton, Roxana-Hartford, Alton and Edwardsville fire departments.
Wood River Fire Department captain Leonard Revelle said a cause and origins report was still being completed by a fire investigator as of Monday afternoon. Sally Bekteshi, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Lami, said it’s still unclear what caused the incident.
“We still don’t really know,” Bekteshi said. “I told the fire department earlier (Monday), and they haven’t come up with an answer. It’s still under investigation. We don’t know.”
The fire started after the restaurant was closed, so nobody was injured in the incident. Revelle said it took firefights approximately 30 minutes to put the fire out. The Wood River truck was back in service at approximately 3:50 a.m., according to Revelle.
“Once we got the guys and the equipment there, the fire got put out pretty quickly,” Revelle said.
Firefighters were able to keep the building intact, but Revelle said the building sustained heat, smoke and water damage throughout. The fire also burned through a section of the building’s roof, Revelle said.
The damage has left the restaurant’s future at its current location in question. The restaurant was coming up on its one-year anniversary at the location, Bekteshi said, and given the option she said their choice would be to stay where they are and rebuild the restaurant.
“That’s what our hope is, to get back into business as soon as we can,” Bekteshi said. “It all depends on what kind of damage there is.”
Just hours after the fire, Bekteshi said she was still coming to terms with the incident.
“It’s very disappointing,” Bekteshi said. “It’s just shocking. I’m still in shock. I can’t believe it.”
Nathan Grimm may be reached at 618-208-6451 or on Twitter @GrimmTelegraph.