By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 19, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Fire crews continue to battle a four-alarm blaze that has destroyed the building housing Pizza Man restaurant, an East Side institution located at 1800 E. North Ave.

The fire started just after 3:30 a.m. Firefighters from Milwaukee and neighboring departments responded quickly, but two parts of the building collapsed and it has been declared a total loss.

More than 150 firefighters are working the scene this morning along with 35 trucks and other support vehicles. Due to the large presence, nine Milwaukee firehouses are being served by mutual aid from neighboring departments. 

All of the occupants of the 10 apartments upstairs were evacuated, officials said. The displaced residents are receiving aid from the Red Cross.

The fire, which also impacted upstairs apartments and adjoining businesses like CUSH lounge, Grecian Delight restaurant and Black and White Cafe, is producing thick smoke in the area and has snarled traffic around the intersection of Oakland and North Avenues.

Milwaukee County Transit System officials have detoured routes 15, 21 and 30 in order to stay clear of the blaze.