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Blaze damages Warren's

A fire Wednesday evening tore through an attic and apartments above a popular City of Tonawanda restaurant, causing $150,000 to $200,000 damage, city firefighters said.

Fire officials believe the blaze originated in the attic area of Warren's Restaurant at 561 Main St., according to Chief Charles B. Stuart. The cause is being investigated.

A Tonawanda police officer passing by the restaurant at about 5:30 p.m. noticed smoke coming from the top of the building and radioed in a report.

"We had heavy smoke . . . showing from the attic area," Stuart said. "We had to use three hose lines to stop this fire."

No injuries were reported. Fire officials said about 10 restaurant employees escaped unharmed. It was not clear how many patrons were in the restaurant at the time of the fire.

It took firefighters about 25 minutes to knock down the heavy flames they encountered in the attic. Once firefighters got inside, the visibility was about zero from the heavy smoke, officials said. Firefighters were forced to pull much of the apartment ceiling down to access the attic, they said.

Stuart said the attic was filled with tables, chairs, clothes and other items.

The restaurant was sold by Mark G. Warren last year, according to real estate records, and was under new ownership, fire officials said. The new owners were on site Wednesday but were not available to comment.

In all, about 55 firefighters responded to the blaze. Tonawanda city firefighters were assisted by firefighters from North Tonawanda as well as volunteers from the Brighton, Ellwood and Sheridan Park fire companies.

Stuart said fire investigators were still looking into the cause of the blaze late Wednesday as firefighters helped clear water from the restaurant and salvage some of the contents.

Stuart said there was fire and smoke damage to the apartment and attic and "significant" water damage throughout the restaurant area. The kitchen, however, was largely unharmed, he said.

"It's a shame because it's really a nice restaurant," Stuart said.


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