Flames engulf the Blowing Rock home of local restaurateur Leo Balestrieri, who owns Mulberry Street Trattoria. Photo by Jerry Burns
Fire destroys Blowing Rock home
By Jerry Sena
The Blowing Rock home of a local restaurateur was destroyed by fire Friday, leaving the $2 million structure in near-total ruin.
Fire officials said the Laurel Rock Road home, owned by Mulberry Street Trattoria proprietor Leo Balestrieri, was unoccupied when the fire broke out late Friday morning. Balestrieri reportedly was away from the area at the time of the fire.
Witnesses said the blaze spread quickly and was fully involved when firefighters from the Blowing Rock Fire Department arrived just a few minutes after the first reports reached them.
The home reportedly was up for sale with an asking price of $2.2 million.
Balestrieri opened his authentic Italian restaurant, Mulberry Street Trattoria, on Boone’s Howard Street in May of last year. He was born in Italy’s Tuscan region and raised in Canada, before spending years in the New York real estate and land development industry.
Investigators had not found a cause for the fire as of Monday morning.