The arrival of the fire department at Via Tribunali's soon-to-open New York City location last Friday has sparked concerns among neighbors still reeling from a fatal fire last year.
According to a Via Tribunali spokesperson, "we were testing the oven," a red-tiled brick oven that can reach temperatures of 900 degrees. Water in a vent created a cloud of thick steam, prompting a call to the fire department. The spokesperson confirms there was never a fire.
But residents of Ludlow Street are skittish since a fire in an adjacent building last winter killed a 70-year old woman. The fire started when the victim turned on her oven to heat her apartment.
"Lets hope there are no more incidents like the one on Friday," Frances Ayers wrote on Bowery Boogie, the neighborhood blog which first reported the incident. "The smell of fire was very strong on the first couple of floors and in the garbage room. A number of people are nervous about having to go through another fire like the one we had 13 months ago."
No opening date has yet been announced for Via Tribunali's first East Coast location, although it looks to be the first store to open in what's been termed "Little Seattle." Caffe Vita -- which shares ownership with Tribunali -- is set to open next door to the pizzeria, and Pike Street Fish Fry will next month appear before a community board to request a wine and beer license.