A police officer on patrol in Stamford spotted what turned into a five-alarm blaze early Friday morning.
He noticed smoke coming from the Fireside Restaurant on Hope Road around 1:30 a.m. Friday. It soon became fully engulfed in flames.
Neighboring towns sent their fire departments to help.
There were eight people living in apartments above the restaurant. They fled the fire and are safe.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury in battling the fire.
Hope Street is expected to remain closed while the investigation and clean-up continue.