A fire caused heavy damage to the historic Fred's Inn on Sunday afternoon on Route 12 south of Norwich.

According to Norwich Fire Chief Traci Chawgo, the call came in just before 3 p.m.after an employee reported the fire.

The chief said the fire started in the kitchen area and quickly spread to the attic. Employees and patrons were in the restaurant when the fire started, and all were evacuated safely.

Chief Chawgo said there was extensive damage to the structure, and fire investigators were at the scene Sunday to determine the cause.

Fred's Inn first opened in 1933 as Rocco's Inn and is currently co-owned by Dave and Armando Cirello.

"I got a call at my house at about 3 o'clock that the kitchen wall was on fire," Dave said. "I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. Halfway down we got a call that said it had spread. Unforuntately it started behind our broiler, went up the back wall and through the roof system. The inside isn't that bad, but all the roof system is pretty much destroyed."

Both Dave and Armando were at the site this morning waiting for the insurance company to assess the damage. They fear that they may have to rebuild the structure entirely due to the heavy damage to the roof and rafters.