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Citrus Heights El Tapatio restaurant temporarily closed after fire

Hector Alcazar stands in front of the charred logo of the El Tapatio restaurant he manages after a fire heavily damaged an outdoor storage area Wednesday morning, Oct. 12, 2022. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
A popular Mexican restaurant on Sunrise Boulevard is temporarily closed after a fire broke out Wednesday morning.

Metro Fire Captain Parker Wilbourn said crews responded to the El Tapatio restaurant shortly after 7 a.m. on Oct. 12 and found “heavy fire” coming off the back side of the building.

Update: The restaurant confirmed it has reopened, as of Friday evening.

An enclosed outdoor storage area was heavily damaged, along with signage on the back of the building. Video posted on Twitter by Metro Fire showed crews on the roof cutting holes with a chainsaw, with flames leaping from the openings.

Wilbourn said there were no injuries, and the fire was contained to the back side of the building. The cause of the fire appeared to be a bin with “several oily rags” that spontaneously combusted, according to Wilbourn.

Fire crews put hose lines in place and worked on the roof to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the building, Wilbourn said.

El Tapatio manager Hector Alcazar said the restaurant will be closed while repairs are under way. He hopes to re-open in a few days, depending on how soon work can be completed. There was damage to the water heater, and crews shut off the electricity to the building, he said.

El Tapatio is located at 5647 Sunrise Blvd., in Citrus Heights.

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