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Fire causes damage to Rubio's in Oceanside

By the early morning, crews had finished mopping up the fire. The aftermath leaving the restaurant charred and almost completely destroyed.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Crews with the Oceanside Fire Deparment responded to reports of smoke and the smell of burning rubber early Thursday morning at a Rubio’s restaurant on Oceanside Blvd near College Boulevard.

Around 12:30 a.m., Oceanside firefighters were dispatched to the fire at Rubio's Coastal Grill and shortly after crews were on scene, the restaurant and the vacant property next door burst into flames. Fifty firefighters from agencies from all over North County fought to save the building.

"We had at least five other engines on scene, from Vista, Carlsbad and us," said Lucifer Keener, the Battalion Chief for the Oceanside Fire Department. "The building itself, the amount of damage that was being sustained to it from that fire made it uninhabitable for us to be able to continue our forward operations."

Fire crews were pulled off of the roof of the building because of the significant risk of collapse, Oceanside Fire Department said. Ultimately, the roof of the restaurant collapsed. 

By the early morning, crews had finished mopping up the fire. The aftermath leaving the restaurant charred and almost completely destroyed. Chief Keener says his department did their best to save the structure, but the type of building made it difficult to fight the flames.

"It was exceptionally stubborn," said Keener "The ceilings are much higher than your normal house. Then there's the void space within those ceilings. A lot of that is the decorative features you see when you walk into a business.

Fire officials said it took crews four hours to completely extinguish the flames. 

In addition to the roof collapse, walls inside the restaurant also sustained damage that caused them to partially collapse.

While nobody was hurt in the fire, Rubio’s - a San Diego based chain and favorite lunch spot in Oceanside for those like Herman Gordon - is now scorched from the inside out.

"A lot of people come here. It's always full of activity," says Gordon who works in the area "This is one of my spots. Sad. Not a good look."

As for the cause of the blaze, investigators who were on scene Thursday morning said they are still determining the origin of the fire.  

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