SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, August 12, a car crashed into a Santa Monica restaurant, causing a building fire.

A photo of Cafe de Paris in Santa Monica, before the building fire occurred.
A photo of Cafe de Paris in Santa Monica, before the building fire occurred.

Around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, firefighters responded to reports of a fire on Montana Avenue near 7th Street. Upon arriving on the scene, firefighters saw that a car was lodged into the back of the building. The car had accidentally crashed into the Cafe de Paris restaurant and hit five gas meters, according to restaurant owner Philippe Blanchet.

Cafe de Paris was not the only restaurant to receive damage due to the crash. The neighboring restaurant, Spumoni, received structure and water damage. The car, upon impact, severed some of the gas lines, causing multiple tiny explosions that resulted in the fire. The fire was contained by officials at around 10:45 a.m. with the assistance of over 40 firefighters.

Southern California Gas Co. was called to help resolve the issue of the severed lines. Crews shut off the gas lines at around 10:25 a.m.

For safety and containment reasons, authorities closed down Montana Avenue and did not reopen the area until around 1 p.m.

Neighboring business Spumoni Italian also was damaged in the fire.
Neighboring Italian restaurant Spumoni also was damaged in the fire.

One female employee of Cafe de Paris, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital due after being hit by debris and sustaining some injuries to her leg.

It is still undetermined when Cafe de Paris is expected to re-open for business, as repairs are expected to fix the damage sustained by the fire and crash.

The driver of the vehicle, Yelena Zabokrisky, 46, told authorities that she had accidentally put her foot on the gas pedal instead of the brake causing the car to careen into the back of the building. Zabokrisky was neither fined nor arrested for the accident.