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FIRE DAMAGES ELMA RESTAURANT

Fire caused heavy damage to a Town of Elma restaurant Thursday, Erie County sheriff's officials said.

The fire at Chelsea's Blue Lantern, 6120 Seneca St. in the Hamlet of Springbrook, caused an estimated $200,000 damage, according to Sheriff's Department Fire Investigator Vincent Pupo.

The restaurant was closed when the fire was reported by a neighbor shortly after 5 p.m., officials said. Other than a cat in an upstairs apartment that died in the blaze, no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire still is under investigation, but firefighters do not think the blaze was intentional.

"The investigator will be back there in the morning to try to determine the cause," said Robert Schiffman, first assistant chief at the Springbrook Fire Department. "We don't think it's arson."

Springbrook firefighters, assisted by the East Seneca, Elma, Orchard Park and Jamison fire departments, battled the blaze at the restaurant, which reopened two months ago, officials added.

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