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Fire Destroys Popular Wynantskill Restaurant

WYNANTSKILL -- A fire destroyed Villa Valenti restaurant on West Sand Lake Road Tuesday evening. Wynantskill Fire Chief James Burt said at its height nearly 100 firefighters from 12 departments assisted with the blaze.

Crews were called to the popular Italian restaurant just before 7 p.m. and found heavy smoke coming from its basement. Firefighters were initially able to go inside, but were forced back because of the structural instability.

Two aerial trucks were used to spray water from overhead, while several firefights worked to spray water on all sides. Around 10:30 p.m. many fire departments were released ahead of an excavator arriving to help dig for hotspots.

Burt said the restaurant is normally closed Mondays and Tuesday. No firefighters were injured.

Fire investigators were on the scene, but were unable to begin their investigation to determine a cause until the fire was extinguished.