Fire Temporarily Closes Santorini Grill

A small but intense fire has placed a popular Berryville eating establishment temporarily out of business for at least the next few days.

A Tuesday afternoon fire destroyed a pair of refrigeration units and closed Santorini Grill in Berryville, Virginia – Photo Edward Leonard

Santorini Grill owner Tom Diamantis said that a refrigeration compressor used to power a walk-in cooler and a freezer caught on fire around 4:15 pm on Tuesday afternoon. Diamantis said that blaze quickly spread to the walls of the small room located at the back of the restaurant where the refrigeration units are housed.

“The fire happened very quickly and it was very intense,” Diamantis said. “It destroyed everything in the room.”

On-scene commander Captain Mike White of Enders Fire Company said that quick work by Berryville Town Police kept the fire from possibly causing more severe damage.

“When we arrived the fire was in check thanks to the town police,” White said. “We were able to fully extinguish the blaze quickly.”

Photo courtesy Mark Jenkins

White said that in addition to Enders Fire Company, units from Shenandoah Farms, Boyce, Shenandoah Retreat and Greenwood Fire Company in Frederick County also responded to the alarm at 108 South Buckmarsh Street.

“Our response matrix for a commercial structure fire requires that level of response,” White said. “Also, with the high heat today, it’s better to have more resources rather than less just in case they’re needed.”

Diamantis said that right now he could not speculate when his restaurant will reopen.

“I haven’t been able to reach our insurance company and the Health Department will have to inspect before we are allowed to reopen,” Diamantis said. “Government offices will be closed tomorrow since it is the Fourth of July, so it seems like Thursday would be the soonest.”

Photo courtesy Mark Jenkins

“The fire has really knocked us out for the moment.”

Photo Edward Leonard

Five fire companies responded to a blaze at Santorini Grill – Photo Edward Leonard


  1. Sharon Strickland says:

    Good luck and we hope all will be better. Open back up soon. We saw all the traffic and our town police did a good job of moving the cars and directing traffic well. We were able to finish our town business without much delay.

    FYI – the ABC store was very happy that they did not have damage from the fire. Good work Enders and Town Police!

  2. A bit of overkill. Blue Ridge, Shen Farms, Boyce, what the ??? Enders is right across the street!

    • hhmmm... says:

      Not really. It’s an old building. You have an apt building right beside there not to mention all the other buildings in close proximity. They were just trying to save everything and everyone. Only takes a second for a fire to rage out of control.

    • Right Winger says:

      “…“Our response matrix for a commercial structure fire requires that level of response,” White said.

      If you read the full article, you would have seen why.

      • I read it. And witnessed the fire personally. I stand by my original comments

        • Well, since you obviously have far superior firefighting skills and administrative skills, why don’t you put them to good use rather than giving the hardworking VOLUNTEERS such a hard time?

  3. jimmyJoeBobBoy says:

    Love it when a town comes together – police with their early intervention, fire department right across the street – small community @ its finest.
    Now, I can’t wait for my next gyro – these folks are good! Generous portions, great taste, hurry back guys & gals.

  4. Actually their gyros are very good.

  5. It may sound as overkill but being a career Firefighter..its better to have more resources than not enough especially if things go south. With NFPA today youre required to have so many personnel on the scene of a working incident. Its harder also with volunteer stations not having enough manpower during the day due to people still being at work and not being able to reposnd to the fire etc… Just food for thought!!

    • I don’t think one has to be a “career Firefighter” to know that more resources are better than not enough. That’s basic common sense. Let me spell this out a different way for all you folks jumping on the band wagon, bashing my comments about wasted resources. I was at the fire. The response by the police was outstanding, courageous etc. The fire was OUT. Enders showed up with several personnel and a large truck, plugged into the hydrant. There was no more fire. Okay, now let’s have a backup station arrive, Boyce. Now you have all the police, and two depts. The fire is still out. 20 min. later, after the fire is out, Blue Ridge shows up. Then Shen. Farms. and if that wasn’t enough wasted resources putting out a fire that was already out, Greenwood shows up all the way from Winchester. It looked like the fireman’s parade came to Berryville.
      Now, my thought while watching this circus was, “what if there is a fire somewhere in the county now”?. Let’s talk about high heat, strong winds etc. There’s nobody standing by because they all want to be heros. But the the police were the heros, now people and property are burning elsewhere. Get it??

      • If your gripe is with communication, then say it. Otherwise, just say good job to the folks that protect us day in and day out.

        Plan on running for fire chief or something?

      • So, John were you really at the scene? I mean full turn out gear, scba, nozzle man. Or were you across a street observing as by-stander. You would not have a clue being a by-stander.
        If fire had extended to another part of the structure. Nor would a veteran fire fighter until a complete survey inside and out has been completed.
        Most cases additional fire and rescue units will not be stopped from responding or released from the scene. Until the commanding officer is sure there the fire is completely under control and has not extended to other parts of a structure

        • AT THE SCENE!

          • OK, I am presuming you are a firefighter. If you are unhappy with the protcol for the county’s response system. Try working through your department and officers and the county ems system. See if any changes make sense to the current protcol for the response to different incidents.

  6. Curious says:

    If the Town Police was putting out the fire, who was catching the speeders in the work zone?

  7. Roscoe Evans says:

    Thanks for spelling out your concerns, John. Sometimes we all get so busy cheerleading that we can’t comprehend the need for critical thinking. The problem is especially difficult when you factor in the volunteer vs. professional firfighter conundrum.

    Hopefully, Jay and the good guys at Enders will read this thread and give it due consideration.

    • Wagonman says:

      FYI when an emergency unit is dispatched to a scene they are supposed to continue to the scene unless they are told to go “in service” and return to their station. Apparently “command” did not see fit to have them do that until the scene was secured. Hope this helps.