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Officials are still trying to determine what caused a fire that blazed through chef and food activist Alice Waters famed ...
Chez Panisse Friday. A small eating area was damaged at the landmark Berkeley restaurant. (March 8)
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SHOTLIST - AP TELEVISION -- AP CLIENTS ONLYBerkeley, CA - March 8, 20131. wide shot of fire damage at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse restaurant2. firefighters look at damage inside3. charred Chez Panisse sign4. broken windows5. SOUNDBITES (English): Avery Webb - Deputy Chief, Berkeley Fire Department"The fire actually got into the building but fortunately there was a sprinkler head in the ceiling in that room and that sprinkler head controlled the fire and kept it from getting into the rest of the building. Firefighters were able to put the fire out actually fairly quickly.""This is a little unusual because the business was closed at that time. There was nobody in the building that was encountered. People aren't usually in that area of the building. So that's just drawing our attention to the fact that we need to look at this pretty closely. There's not an obvious reason for the fire yet. The investigators are taking a look at it and not starting with any preconceived ideas of how the fire may have started. They're being very careful with it."6. fire inspector walks through fire scene7. shoveling burned rubble close8. shoveling burned rubble wide9. bystanders take pictures of damage10. SOUNDBITES (English): Colleen Neff - Neighbor"Oh my gosh! I'm so upset! This is a neighborhood landmark. We love Chez Panisse. It's kind of the anchor of our neighborhood. I just was walking down to the Cheese Board across the street to get a little bread and I saw this and I'm devastated. Hoping they can reopen. It doesn't look that bad. But to see the windows broken, this beautiful building, it's heart-breaking really.""Alice Waters is like a goddess of local, sustainable food. It's been open for over 40 years. I come here myself a lot for lunch. You know, just pop in. Just hope that she can reopen."11. yellow police tape in front of entrance12. yellow police tape in front of menu----------------------Small fire in Alice Waters' Berkeley restaurant BERKELEY, Calif. -- Chef and food activist Alice Waters inspected damage to the facade of her famed Chez Panisse Friday after a fire blazed through a landmark dining section of the Berkeley restaurant.A small eating area with signature woodwork within the restaurant's front porch burned, but the bulk of the building was not damaged, fire officials said.In a stroke of good luck, no one was injured and neither the restaurant's structure nor its celebrated kitchen suffered, Waters said."I'm pretty shaky right now but I'm just glad no one was in the building," an emotional Waters said in an early morning interview with KRON-TV outside her charred restaurant. "So that's a great relief that in the middle of the night that this happened. It really focuses all your attention on what it is important."The fire appears to have started in a sub-floor area of the building in the pre-dawn hours Friday, but the cause has yet to be determined, said Berkeley Fire Department Deputy Chief Avery Webb.Firefighters were still securing the scene Friday morning and had no estimate on when the restaurant will be safe to reopen."Chez Panisse is one of our most famous restaurants in Berkeley and I was just hoping the damage wasn't too extensive," Webb said. "The majority of the restaurant is still intact."Since Waters founded the restaurant in 1971, it has gained global renown in culinary circles for pioneering the creative use of fresh, local food in season.Waters said she was weighing whether to expand the front porch dining area after arriving on scene early Friday to talk with fire crews and workers. A sprinkler likely spared the rest of the structure, she added.Gourmet Magazine named Chez Panisse the best restaurant in America in 2001, and from 2002 to 2008, it was one of Restaurant Magazine's 50 best restaurants in the world.(****END****)