By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 19, 2010 at 2:39 PM

East Side Milwaukee Ald. Nik Kovac released the following statement today.

"I would like to express my sadness over this morning's loss of an iconic part of Milwaukee's East Side. Pizza Man restaurant, 2304 N. Oakland Ave., has been a local tradition for many and its unique atmosphere and style long represented the eclectic nature of the area.

"This morning's tragic fire that destroyed the building has been successfully and swiftly handled by the Milwaukee Fire Department and I want to thank them for their skill and professionalism as they tackled the enormous task of securing the fire and keeping residents in the dense area safe. Though many in the area self-evacuated, firefighters helped clear people from the apartments above the restaurant with no injuries to residents.

"The intersection of N. Oakland and E. North Ave. will be closed at least 24 hours while fire crews remain on the scene to continue to monitor and access the situation. The power in the neighborhood was cut for the firefighting operation, but crews hope to restore service to the area later today.

"Three other local businesses were housed in the building: CUSH, Grecian Delight and the Black and White Café, and the potential the loss of these establishments that contribute to the success of the neighborhood is a significant one.

"I commend the Milwaukee Fire Department crews and staff for their efforts today, for although the fire spread quickly, they were able to save the historic building housing Lakeshore Church at 1820 E. North Ave.

"As part of protocol with any fire of this magnitude, arson investigators are examining the circumstances of the fire."