Prezza has been a strong restaurant presence in the North End for 11 years, so when the popular eatery was hit by a one-alarm fire early Monday morning, its storied existence came to an abrupt but not complete stop.
Boston firefighters responding to the fire, which was trapped somewhere inside the first floor duct system and then spread to the second floor, had to rip out that entire area and the douse everything with powerful streams of water.
There was, as a result, severe smoke and water damage throughout the restaurant.
In addition, seven people evacuated their apartments in the building and four firefighters were injured, though not seriously.
Obviously, the restaurant was literally wrecked by the experience and is now closed while fire appraisers and investigators do their work to determine exactly what caused the fire and how much it will cost to rebuild.
The rebuild is expected to take months, according to North End sources.
Damages were estimated by the fire department at $350,000.
The fire department also said that while the fire is under investigation, the fire did not appear to be of suspicious origin.
Owner and chef of Prezza, Anthony Caturano was said to be devastated by the fire.
“He’s a very popular man in the North End and runs a great place,” said Frank DePasquale, the well know restaurant owner and Chamber member.
The restaurant has been in existence in its present location for longer than a decade.