COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A two-alarm fire claimed a beloved Colleyville Italian restaurant Thursday afternoon. And, thanks to the actions of the city manager, no one was injured.
Minutes before the flames that would devour Ruggeri’s in The Village at Colleyville, there were customers and staff inside who had no idea they were in danger.
“We walked out of City Hall. We noticed an odor in the air, and we decided to drive by on our way to see if there was anything to it,” said Colleyville City Manager Jerry Ducay.
Until Ducay, his son, and the assistant city manager saw smoke and went inside.
“There were about 6 or 8 people in the restaurant. There were a couple of couples that were sitting, having lunch. I said, ‘Excuse me, I believe there’s a fire in this building. I’d ask you to please leave.’ ”
They called 911, pulled the fire alarm, and ran upstairs to Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Everyone hurried outside.
“And by the time we came out, we noticed the flames had broken through the roof,” said Ducay.
Within minutes, the roof collapsed, followed by the walls.
“All of the sudden, the building looked like it was going to fall,” said witness Ross Kingeter. “It came down and crashed. It was really loud.”
Fire crews from Colleyville and six surrounding cities battled the fire for hours and kept it from spreading to nearby buildings. Ducay said his actions were those of a citizen, not a hero.
“There’s nothing heroic about it. It’s what people should do,” he said.
The building is a loss. Fire crews believe the fire started in the second floor or roof, but there’s no official cause yet.