Zorba's, other campus businesses damaged by fire
Matt Mortenson, owner of longtime Campustown business Zorba’s, said he was looking forward to brisk business this coming fall, with additional home football games and more traffic to his restaurant..
"I don't know how you come out of something like this," he said about the fire that spread through the building on the 600 block of East Green Street that contains Zorba's and Mia Za's Cafe restaurants and the Pitaya clothing boutique.
Mortenson said he hoped to get into the building today to inspect the damage.
Audio & Photos: Fire in Campustown
Matt Mortenson has worked at Zorba's for nearly 30 years and owns the business. Mortenson spotted smoke coming out of the apartment above Pitaya at around 7:35 this morning. He said he noticed flames shooting 20 to 30 feet in the air, but he doesn't know badly his business was damaged.
"You don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it," Mortenson said. "If it wasn't burned, there's a lot of water damage I'm sure."
Urbana Fire Chief Mike Dilley said a fire in a concealed space at the top of the building burned "fairly undetectably" for some time. He said that in the space housing Zorba's, the roof and sections of the floor had collapsed into the first floor, but that the first floor was still intact.
I might have been their first customer (or close to it). I was watching and waiting for them to finally open. Frequented them often and Garcia's across the street around the corner when on that side of campus.I was wondering how ling it had been there because I don't remember the place at all (I arrived on campus in '73). I remember walking by it when returning to campus, but never went there during school.
Demolition planned for upper part of fire damaged building complex
Crews are making plans to partially demolish the attic and second floor of a building complex destroyed by Wednesday's early morning blaze.
The complex housed local business Zorba's Restaurant, Mia Za's cafe and the Pitaya clothing store. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but was localized to the apartments above Zorba's before spreading throughout the complex.
Green Street fire started above Mia Za's
The Champaign Fire Department said today that investigators have found the point of origin of the fire in the southeast corner above the ceiling of Mia Za's cafe.
No cause has been determined yet, but investigators are looking today.
UI student streams live feed from the wreckage of Green Street fire
"I figured it would just be kind of cool to film it and put up everything that happens," Jordan Zucker said.
Zucker is filming from the fifth floor of Green Street Towers, near the intersection of Wright and Green streets (just west of Follett’s bookstore and directly across the street from the site of the fire).
Time lapse of daybreak over the wreckageSave Zorbas! THE source for Green Street recovery efforts
The live stream of Green Street is back online, despite the lack of construction, due to popular demand. Look for your friends walking by, or try something crazy (within the law) to get on the site. The camera rolls 24/7, if I catch something interesting, I will put it on the site.
Investigators can't determine cause of Green St. Fire
A release sent Monday from the fire department said the investigators "did not determine a specific origin" or cause.
The department previously had said the fire started in the southeast corner of 629 E. Green St., above the ceiling of Mia Za's Cafe.
The department said that, while the origin was undetermined, the fire was determined not to be suspicious.