Raw video - Flames destroy Griff Restaurant and Pub in Rome

Fire destroys Griff Restaurant and Pub

A large fire broke out at The Griff Restaurant and Pub in Rome early Wednesday morning.

Fire officials say the fire was reported around 2:33 a.m. at 7353 River Road in Rome.

Officials say there was heavy fire in the rear of the building when they arrived at the scene. The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen.

Crews at the scene had to dig up gas lines to turn gas to the building off.

27 firefighters were called in to fight the fire. At first, 17 firefighters were called to the fire but then 10 more were called to assist. The fire was contained by about 5:30 a.m.

The Griff Restaurant and Pub is a complete loss due to damage from the fire. What remains of the building will need to be demolished, officials say.

The pavilion of the 13 Pines Motel, which is next door, was hosed down with water to ensure the fire did not spread. The motel is about 200-300 feet from the restaurant.

James Magnanti, owner of 13 Pines Motel, says the restaurant â??was a tinderbox. It went up like nothing, really quick.â??

Magnanti says embers from the fire were floating in the air and landing on cars and the roof of the motel. He says they could feel the heat of the fire on the hotel doors.

Crews were still on the scene at 8:00 a.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Rome Free Academy is operating on a two hour delay Wednesday due to a water problem related to the fire.

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