Livermore firefighter's miracle save of a beloved restaurant

The mop up from the incineration of three abandoned buildings in Livermore continues after Sunday evening's fire that threatened a neighboring structure. A number of people have told me that there were homeless people occupying the destroyed buildings from time to time. Now it's rubble and trouble, but, with a silver lining.

At about 5:15 PM on Sunday, three apparently abandoned Livermore buildings, near Holmes Street and Concannon Boulevard, went up in a spectacular display of flames and gray smoke that took Livermore-Pleasanton firefighters two hours to contain. "As far as we know, the building were vacant and we're doing an investigation right now, we don't think there was anyone in the buildings at all," said Battalion Chief Kurtis Dicke of the Livermore/Pleasanton Fire Department.

Investigators are combing through the debris to find the cause of the fire. "We're not sure what the cause is, so unfortunately that's probably gonna be several days before we can narrow down what might be the cause of the fire," said Chief Dickey.

"We feel very blessed. Definitely, some angel. Don't make me cry," said Charming Fig Founder Julia Steinman.

Right next door, in a fourth building, owned by someone else, is home to the popular eatery, Charming Fig, was saved, and owner Julia Steinman and her staff, can celebrate its one-year birthday next month. Fortunately, the minimal restaurant damage it sustained should allow it to reopen before then. "Hopefully just a couple weeks. We have some roof damage is the most extent of our damage. The fire was this far from our place," said Steinman. 

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The truth is, that great firefighting and some incredible karma saved this place. Otherwise, it may be gone too. "They were on top of it. People were calling in from all over the place. We came. We watched. They blocked the streets. They were, it was amazing," said nearby resident Marissa Stunke.  "This particular restaurant, I know that it took a while to get it open. So, our concern was maybe it was that restaurant, so thank goodness," said nearby resident Wanda Seoane.

Others told us that power was being filched from Charming Fig's roof. Another said that an outdoor table, that went missing from the restaurant, was returned to it. All of this will figure into the investigation.