WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A popular diner in Nassau County is already being torn down after an early morning fire burned through the building on Thursday.
About 200 firefighters responded shortly after 4:30 a.m. to a blaze at the Harvest Diner at 841 Old Country Rd. in Westbury.
One firefighter suffered a minor laceration injury while battling the fire, reports CBS2’s Christina Fan.
No one was inside the diner at the time of the fire.
The diner served up food and comfort for 40 years and the community is calling it loss for them all. The family called their restaurant the American Dream come true.
As flames shot through the windows of Harvest Diner Thursday morning, helpless neighbors and family could only watch.PHOTO GALLERY: See Images Of Westbury Firefighters Battling The Early Morning Blaze
Steve Savva, whose family owned the restaurant, says his entire childhood was spent inside.
“Seeing the early morning videos of the smoke just billowing out is just… yeah,” he said.
Scene Of Fire In Westbury, N.Y.
“I’m in shock, just total shock, I still can’t believe it,” said Mary Degregario who worked there for 30 years. “I knew them all when they were babies.”
Savva’s family opened the dinner in 1980 after moving from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. He says it’s always been his family’s dream to provide good food with a side of warmth and comfort.“We have such great memories here,” said Savva, but now, “Family, friends, we’re just devastated.”
Customers past and present came to the scene later in the day to reminisce about their finest memories and meals.
“Me and my friends we would go late at night get some cheeseburger deluxes and all that sort of stuff, and it was a great place, it had a lot of good food,” said neighbor Jim Hein.
“Hearing people give such positive words of encouragement, just makes you feel like you did something right,” said Savva.
Old Country Road was closed from Marathon Avenue to Fieldston Street in both directions due to the fire, which has been brought under control.
The owners are considering rebuilding the diner.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.