Santarpio’s Is Evacuated, but Spared from Five-Alarm Fire

The legendary pizzeria received superficial, exterior damage from the nearby blaze. Twelve people are displaced.

UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.: Owner Joia Santarpio says Santarpio’s is open as usual at 11:30 a.m. today.

“We have damage to the building and some broken windows (and doors, courtesy of the BFD),” she says. “We are extraordinarily lucky. The BFD did an amazing job saving our neighbors’ lives and our family business. Fortunately all of our employees and patrons are safe.”


In last night’s 90-degree heat, a fire ripped through a two-story duplex in East Boston, right next door to pretty much everybody’s favorite pizza joint, the 100-plus-year-old Santarpio’s. Luckily, the pizzeria only received superficial damage, according to news reports, and no neighbors were injured.

Around 7:20 p.m. on Friday, July 22, a resident of one of the units at 107-109 Chelsea St. plugged in an air conditioning unit, which caused sparks to fly, 7 News reports. Quickly, the flames climbed up the structure, with temperatures still in the 90s causing Boston Fire Department to sound a fifth alarm, the Boston Globe reports. Nine adults and three children are displaced. Two of the six units in the building were vacant, according to the Globe.

With the buildings on the East Boston block as close as five feet from each other, it was a challenge to contain the fire, Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald told the Globe, but Santarpio’s Pizza was mostly spared. The flames melted some siding on the building, but the interior is undamaged. Santarpio’s was evacuated during Friday night dinner service, and remained closed for the rest of the night.

Santarpio’s, which first opened in 1903, is known for simple pies—which many argue are the best in Boston—as well as grilled sausage, steak tips, and lamb skewers. (Pro tip: No need to ask for a menu. Act like you’ve been there before.) The pizzeria is a chef favorite, and a multi-year Best of Boston award-winner.

Santarpio’s Pizza is open regular hours from 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. today.

Santarpio’s Pizza, 111 Chelsea St., East Boston, 617-567-9871,

[Photo: h/t to 7News reporter Kimberly Bookman on Twitter.]