Pantops Taco Bell catches fire

Two employees from the Pantops Food Lion said they started to smell something burning about 7pm this evening and looked out the window to see smoke wafting across the grocery store's parking lot. When they went outside and followed the smoke, they saw the nearby Taco Bell in flames. "Somebody musta really burned a chalupa," one of the employees said.

Though the Newsplex was reporting a total loss that "completely destroyed the building," we noticed that only a large facade and sign on the side of the building had been destroyed. Indeed, the only thing that remained was the "taco" part of the torched facade.

Scott Goss, a chief officer for the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company, said no one had been hurt in the fire, including any of his own fire fighters. Goss said there was some additional burn damage in the kitchen, but that the rest of the restaurant appeared to be fine. Goss said the cause of the fire was under investigation, pointing to a fire marshal who was up on a ladder taking video and studying the damage.

12 comments

What is going on in that first photograph? It looks like a "taco" sign is hovering over the pavement like an alien craft. Is this Photoshopped?

That same Taco Bell burned down about ten years ago. Actually, it may have been less damage than in those photos, but the company demolished the bldg. and replaced it. Took about three weeks! IRC.

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WTF is wrong with people in Charlottesville??? On the NBC29 website there were abusive comments about the Taco Bell fire and here we have "Hater." The only one that should be concerned about karma is you. People could have been hurt or even killed. Just because you don't like the food there doesn't mean it should burn to the ground.

I was actually on my way to that Taco Bell Saturday night at 7:40pm when I decided not to go!

Taco Bell by the way was the subject of a big boycott over farm worker's rights (such as the right not to be *enslaved", which the Florida farmers were convicted of in federal court). But then Taco Bell agreed to the activists' demands, so I figured it was time for everybody to go to back the Bell to reward them. But at about the same time the food got worse, or I lost my taste for it.

One of the leading activists in the boycott was from Cville and her group won a prestigious RFK human rights award:
http://www.rfkmemorial.org/legacyinaction/2003_CIW/
and was profiled in the New Yorker, etc.

Some people need a real life like "Hater"!! I for one like Taco Bell, but I have found if there is a restaurant I don't like, I just keep driving and I would suggest the same for "Hater". Keep your foul comments to yourself.

No, the photo was not photoshopped...it was just a very strange image of some of the burned debree laying near the drive-thru lane.

Why can't we get some good or different dining chains in Charlottesville? Where is Olive Garden? Everyone wants it here. And why not a Ukrops grocery store too?

Maybe the heat and smoke will disinfect the place. Isn't that the Taco Bell with various health code violations?

I never did like Taco Bell, the kitchens don't look so clean and the meat is "mysterious."

Olive Garden will never be here. The county pissed them off with stupid zoning and sign ordinace crap.
That's the rumor I heard.

The rumour you heard is crap. Cheeseburger in Paradise got built- olive garden could get approved without much of a problem.

more fire salsa please...