A structural fire broke out at a popular Mexican restaurant in downtown Ithaca Friday evening.
Ithaca firefighters responded to Viva Taqueria at around 10:15 p.m. Crews evacuated the dining and kitchen areas of the restaurant after seeing smoke and heat coming from the walls.
Traffic in the 100 blocks of North and South Aurora Streets was shut down, as well as the 300 block of East State Street.
The four-story building Viva occupies was also evacuated.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Ithaca Fire Lt. Tom Basher said
“It’s probably a discarded cigarette accidentally dropped,” Basher said. “It was very windy yesterday, and we’re thinking something got blown into the wall space, and that started to smolder. With the wind pushing the way it is, that can feed the fire pretty quickly.”
No injuries have been reported.
Basher said the restaurant will open for business Saturday.