OCEANSIDE — A two-alarm fire gutted a Rubio’s restaurant in Oceanside early Thursday and fire investigators are trying to figure out how it started, officials said.
Someone called 911 shortly after midnight to report smelling burning rubber coming from the stand-alone restaurant on the corner of Oceanside Boulevard and College Boulevard. When firefighters arrived they saw smoke inside the restaurant but did not see flames, said Oceanside Battalion Chief Lu Keener.
He said crews initially took an offensive approach to fighting the blaze, but switched to a defensive position after the fire got into the roof, threatening the safety of firefighters inside the structure.
Firefighters cut ventilation holes in the roof to release super-heated smoke and gasses in an effort to give crews better visibility, but they were still unable to locate the fire. After about 25 minutes, everyone was pulled off the roof and from the interior of the restaurant out of concerns that the roof might collapse, he said.
A second alarm was called and additional firefighters were deployed.
In all, about 50 firefighters from Oceanside, Vista and Carlsbad worked to extinguish the fire and make sure it didn’t spread to other businesses. It took about four hours to completely extinguish the blaze.
No damage estimate was immediately available. No injuries were reported.