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Tavern Damaged By Flames | News

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Tavern Damaged By Flames
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A fire broke out in the middle of the night in the Poconos inside a restaurant that has been closed since Saturday. Now fire marshals are investigating the cause.

Throughout the morning and afternoon Wednesday a state police fire marshal and detectives with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police were searching Dana's Restaurant and Tavern in Tobyhanna.

They were looking for clues as to how a fire sparked in the middle of the night while the owner was on vacation.

By late morning the fire at Dana's was under control.

Fire crews remained on scene as the fire marshal and detectives with the continued their investigation. They were trying to figure out how the restaurant, which had been closed since Saturday while the owner was on vacation, went up in flames in the middle of the night.

"It was a fire started in the middle of the night in a restaurant that wasn't open, so routine. We don't have all the answers as to why it started we will call the fire marshals and they come out. That's what they do. They come out and investigate it," said Coolbaugh Township Fire Chief John Zwalley.

"It's gone. I can't even describe an emotion," said restaurant manager Dorothy Smith.

"It's horrible, it's heartbreaking, not just from a business perspective, but on a personal level," said customer Carrie Kyle.

The fire chief said a passerby saw flames coming from the restaurant around 2:30 a.m. and called 911.

Several fire companies were called to the scene, and the blaze was mostly out within a half hour.

Firefighters said the blaze started somewhere in the middle of Dana's Restaurant and Tavern, moderately damaging the first and second floors of the business.

Kyle said this isn't just any business, in fact, it's a cornerstone of the community.  "We call it our misfit joint. A lot of people from the area that are from someplace else, that don't have a lot of family this is where we all congregate. We've watched the staff grow up."

For Smith the blaze also hits home. "It's a family. We've all grown up here. A lot of people, it was their first job. He put a lot of us through school it's really hard," Smith added.

She said she isn't sure what will happen next with the restaurant.

The owner is still out of town.


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