By Libby Rosequist
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, North East Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at Valone’s Brooklyn Grocery at 4:05 p.m.
It is reported the pressure cooker, used to cook chicken wings, caught fire. The staff was unable to extinguish the fire and evacuated.
Crescent Hose Co. No. 2 Ladder 209 arrived and reported an obvious working fire in the restaurant.
Fuller Hose Co. No. 1 Engine 202 arrived and used a hose-line to extinguish the fire in the kitchen area while the ladder company ventilated and searched the apartments in the rear of the building. The fire was reported under control at 4:31 p.m. by incident commander Fuller C-4, Matt Skrekla.
Crews remained on scene checking for hot spots and all crews cleared by 5:02 p.m.
The fire was contained to the kitchen but there was smoke damage throughout the first floor restaurant area.
Mutual aid from Brookside, Kuhl Hose and West Lake volunteer fire departments were dispatched but placed in service prior to their arrival.
No injuries were reported.
Red Cross was contacted to help renters living in the apartment above, which sustained smoke damage.
“We are currently closed for business while we clean up and rebuild,” Valone’s owner, Rita Valone said. “I am grateful the fire department was able to contain the fire but the smoke damage has been catastrophic to almost all of our inventory and refrigeration. The cleaning and remodeling is taking longer than expected but we are hopeful to be back in business before Thanksgiving.”
A GoFundMe page has been made to help support the restaurant’s rebuild and replacement of larger items, such as its coolers, food and other kitchen supplies.
“I would like to express my gratitude for all the concern and support the community, friends and family have shown me over the past three weeks,” Valone said. “Words cannot express how devastating an experience this fire has been for me, personally, and for my family and employees. Even though this has been tough to endure, I want everyone to know their diet is almost over and we will reopen with all the same good food.”
Anyone interested in donating to the GoFundMe can visit www.gofundme.com/f/tragic-fire-leaves-entrepreneur-in-need-of-support.
All proceeds will go toward replacing kitchenware, inventory and construction.