Fire starts in Riviera’s sign wiring |

Fire starts in Riviera’s sign wiring

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

A landmark neon sign in downtown Glenwood Springs drew a little more attention to itself than it was designed for Wednesday.The power supply to the Riviera Supper Club sign apparently was the starting point of a rooftop fire that caused roughly $10,000 in damage, said Lt. Pete Bradshaw of the Glenwood Springs Fire Department. No one was injured.The fire cut power to the Riviera and Pepponino restaurants during the dinner hour, but it was restored soon afterward. The Riviera was able to remain open during the fire but Pepponino was evacuated for a short period, Pepponino owner Tony Rosa said.

Rosa also was briefly forced out of the apartment he lives in above his restaurant. But officials expected that he would be able to spend the night there because the fire was contained to the rooftop of his building.The Riviera sign is above Pepponino rather than Riviera. Rosa said the anomaly arises from the fact that his dad opened the Riviera in 1947 and sold that part of the building in the late 1960s.The Riviera was resold last year and was opened again under new ownership under the name of the Riviera Restaurant.Bradshaw said old wiring supplying the neon sign may have contributed to the start of the fire. It burned a transformer servicing the sign, along with insulation and other rooftop material. The Riviera sign appeared to have remained intact.

Bradshaw doubted that weather played any role in the fire’s start. A storm bearing rain and hail but little lightning rolled through Glenwood Springs late Wednesday afternoon.The fire forced the closure of the Grand Avenue wing street and part of Seventh Street as three fire trucks responded.The incident drew onlookers from the pedestrian bridge Wednesday evening. The fire apparently was first called in to authorities by a motorist who noticed it while driving over the Grand Avenue Bridge.

Bradshaw said the fire call came in at 6:18 p.m. and firefighters were on the scene within three minutes. Rosa said he was “real happy” with the department’s response, and its work limiting the fire to the rooftop. “It could have been a lot of worse,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext.

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