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Popular El Tapatio restaurant in Citrus Heights re-opens after fire

Hector Alcazar, manager of El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, stands outside after a fire damaged the building. // M. Hazlip

Sentinel staff report–
Following repairs after a fire on Wednesday morning, El Tapatio Family Mexican Restaurant reopened its doors to diners Friday evening.

“After another long day of work alongside an excellent team of people both internally and externally we are thankful to announce that we will be reopening for Friday dinner service,” the restaurant said in a social media post at 1 a.m. Friday morning. “We can’t put into words the amount of love we’ve felt and received over the past 2 days.”

The restaurant later confirmed doors had reopened for dinner on Friday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m.

As previously reported, a fire broke out in the rear of the restaurant around 7 a.m. on Oct. 12, with responding crews finding “heavy fire” coming off 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 a fire captain at the scene.

Fire crews put hose lines in place and worked on the roof to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the building, with fire crews observed with chainsaws cutting holes in the roof to extinguish the blaze.

“We are forever grateful for our local firefighters, our excellent team of plumbers, electricians and fire restoration team!” the restaurant said on social media the day of the fire. “We strongly believe that in all negative times there are positives if you seek them, and we can not fathom the comments and love that we have received from our community!”

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