ALAMEDA -- An early morning fire Saturday that damaged a restaurant and shut down a street just a block from City Hall is being treated as suspicious, officials said.

Arson investigators were investigating the American Oak restaurant at 2319 Santa Clara Ave. after the fire, which was reported about 6:16 a.m., according to Alameda Fire spokesman James Colburn. No one was injured.

Firefighters responding to reports of heavy smoke in the building found a fire that apparently had several points of origin, Colburn said. They had the blaze under control in about 10 minutes.

Damage was estimated at about $250,000 to the structure and $200,000 to the contents of the restaurant.

The investigation forced the closure of Santa Clara Avenue, in the heart of the city's downtown district. Officials hope to reopen the street by around 10 a.m.

Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.



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