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Fire in Lancaster causes $300,000 damage to Yelling Goat, apartments

A fire that started Tuesday in an apartment above Lancaster's Yelling Goat, a restaurant at 206 Central Ave., caused an estimated $300,000 in damage to the building and contents, according to a fire official.

Village of Lancaster Fire Chief James S. Volpe Jr. said the fire was reported at about 3:44 p.m.

"When I arrived, there was fire coming out the two front windows and going into the eaves," said Volpe, who remained on the scene until after 6 p.m. "There was a lot of fire coming out of that building when we got here. They had to make a strong push to get into the building to knock the fire down. The front of the building was fully involved."

Occupants of the six apartments on the building's second floor were evacuated safely, Volpe said.

"There were no injuries. The crews did an excellent job. Lancaster Engine No. 2 did an excellent job getting inside and putting the fire out," Volpe said.

The restaurant's staff of 15 workers was evacuated safely, said John Rooney, who operates the Yelling Goat with Laurie Kutas. She was at the restaurant when the fire broke out and alerted Rooney by phone.

"It's our livelihood, and we take a great deal of passion and pride in what we do, so it's extremely sad to have something out of our control shut us down," Rooney said.

Lancaster Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

"They did an aggressive interior attack, which was able to knock the fire down relatively quickly and the rest were checking for hotspots, seeing if there was any other extension. They had to open up the roof to check the attic," said Lancaster Police Officer Ronald Rozler.

The Lancaster Village Fire Department was assisted by fire companies including Twin District Fire Department, Bowmansville Fire Company, Depew Fire Department and Cheektowaga's South Line Fire Company.

The six people displaced by the fire received assistance from the American Red Cross.

"I didn't split (the damage) up between the restaurant and the apartments. I'm concerned with the structure. As far as the structure is concerned, there was $150,000 damage to the structure and $150,000 to the contents of the building," Volpe said.



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