Lukulo’s blaze caused by hols in pizza oven

By Holly Schubert

A faulty pizza oven bottom with holes in it set fire to cardboard boxes stored underneath it, causing the blaze that gutted Lukulo’s Sandwiches and Pizza House, 1021 Hillcrest Drive, early Thursday morning.

Lukulo’s owner, Pete Matarangas, said he hopes to reopen in about six weeks next to the Jungle, 1027 Hillcrest Drive, in the building formerly occupied by Sam’s Pizza.

Matarangas said he is in the process of signing contracts for the building, but he will not know anything definite until today.

He said that so far, insurance is taking care of everything lost in the fire.

The fire, which started at around 3 a.m. Thursday, caused $100,000 in damage to the building and $90,000 to building contents.

Smoke and heat from the blaze damaged Haircuts Etc. and The Competitive Edge Tanning Center, located next to Lukulo’s.

Haircuts Etc. reopened Thursday about 1 p.m., but The Competitve Edge was damaged more severely and had not reopened as of Monday, said an employee of Haircuts Etc.

An apartment above Lukulo’s also suffered damage, forcing two residents to relocate.

One of the residents, Lisa Cashman, lost a drawing table and other art equipment in the blaze.

Her clothing and apartment furnishings were heavily damaged by smoke.

Other residents of the building were evacuated from the time the fire began until later in the morning.

Nearly 30 DeKalb firefighters responded to the call and battled the blaze for more than two hours until the fire was brought under control.

No one was injured in the fire.