LAVALLETTE, WV (WOWK) – An investigation is underway after the West Virginia Pizza Company off Route 152 in Lavallette went up in flames Sunday.

The restaurant owner called the building a “total loss” and explained that “nothing is salvageable.”

An employee and the owner were both on-site when the fire started.

The employee says the fire started from the back of the building and she noticed smoke coming from a vent on the roof and “thought maybe a pizza had burned or got stuck in the conveyor or something.” She continued to explain, that by the time they went in to look at the smoke it was too late. The entire back side was in flames.  

A nearby neighbor, Connie Tweel, explained the moment the building went up in flames by saying “it was smoking so bad.”

Tweel continued to explain the panic that went over her. “I was petrified. I thought ‘oh my God, it’s going to come over to my house.’ My jeep’s right there and that would’ve blown up and then it would have went on and it would’ve burnt [another] building,” she said.

The Lavallette Volunteer Fire Department arrived around 7:40 p.m. and put the fire out within an hour, but there’s still no word on what started the fire.

The owner says right now she’s unsure of what’s next for them and the West Virginia Pizza Company, but she appreciates the support they’ve received so far.