Nearby businesses impacted after Fitchburg explosion - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Nearby businesses impacted after Fitchburg explosion

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FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- A couple nearby restaurants are still reeling a few days later after the home exploded on Cheryl Drive in Fitchburg.

"We were just all like what was that? What happened," said Me & Julio employee Nicole Huset, who heard several loud bangs coming from outside the restaurant and scattered to the outdoor patio to find out what happened.. "I heard somebody yell 'Woah a house just exploded'."

The explosion happened right across the street from their restaurant on Fish Hatchery and Cheryl Parkway. Employees say some customers were so horrified and in such shock that they left the restaurant without paying their bill.

"We had some people who thought it would be best to just leave right after it happened. We had a number of tables just get up and go," said Me & Julio General Manager Carrie Bratt, who was completely understanding. "A lot of people did call yesterday and they explained what had happened and it was part of doing business we took care of it obviously they had bigger concerns and their dinner wasn't one of them."

But Me & Julio wasn't the only restaurant that had concerned customers.

A few blocks away, the explosion shook the building of Benvenuto's Italian Grill.

"We had a couple of [pictures] fall down and lights flicker. because [the explosion] was such a big vibration for the restaurant," said Benvenuto's employee Bailey Adkins.

Another Benvenuto's employee, Mason Breitzke, heard the explosion while leaving work, ""The people looked pretty shaken out in the parking lot...that's when I realized something had happened..like it wasn't just some firework or something."

But the restaurant's General Manager Molly Swain says instead of customers getting up and leaving, more came.

"Our patio filled up our dining room filled up, it was just the social aspect, people could come out they could talk to one another about what was going on in their community."

Employees from both restaurants say the explosion has continued to be the talk of the town. 

"These are our friends, these are people that we know on a personal and professional basis, we're just really glad everybody is ok," said Swain.

Managers from Me & Julio and Benvenuto's Italian Grill are planning to join in a neighborhood effort to help raise money for the victims of the explosion.

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