Fire closes Aristocrat restaurant at 52nd and College

This photo is from the restaurant's web site.

INDIANAPOLIS - A popular north side restaurant will be closed for months following an overnight fire that caused $1.5 million in damage. One firefighter suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters were called to the Aristocrat restaurant at 52nd and College Ave. At 3:39 am Thursday. Heavy smoke was pouring from the building when firefighters arrived on the scene and extra companies were requested.

Crews had to fight the smoke and intense heat from the fire as they made their way to the source. The 6,000-foot restaurant has several hallways, a bar and two dining areas, and the layout made the firefighters' task more difficult.

Firefighters suspect the fire had been burning long before the alarms went off and got a big head start on them. Flames had spread from the kitchen to surrounding areas and into the roof. It took about an hour to bring under control.

According to Capt. Rita Burris with IFD, there is extensive damage to the entire restaurant and roof. Another source says there may be significant structural damage and it may take months to repair and reopen.

They managed to evacuate the three residents who lived above the restaurant. The residents were uninjured. Resident Dave Hager put like this: "It was full of smoke and we bailed."

Building and restaurant owner Rick Rising-Moore says there are 35 employees to be concerned about. He says he hopes competitors can hire some on temporarily.

Luna Music, which is in a separate building on the corner, reports no damage to their business and posted in a Tweet that they hope to find a way to help the Aristocrat get back on its feet.