Sparks Fly But Everyone’s OK Following Reported Basement Fire, Restaurant Owner Says

A minor work-related accident in the basement of a Main Street restaurant in Hellertown Tuesday morning drew a response from several fire companies and briefly closed the street to through traffic, but the incident’s overall bark was worse than its bite, according to those with knowledge of the situation.

Dewey Fire Co. Chief Mike Maguire said firefighters were dispatched to 1774 Grille & Tap, 605 Main St., for a reported fire in the basement just before 10 a.m.

“Upon arrival, two workers were exiting the basement door after extinguishing the fire with a pressurized water fire extinguisher,” he said, adding that they had been “working in the basement with piping and heat torches.”

Maguire said there was minor fire damage to the basement, moderate smoke damage to the basement and minor smoke damage to the first floor dining area.

“Smoke was removed with fans and all units were clear in about an hour,” he said.

Restaurant/building owner Kim Culver described the incident as a minor one and said there were “sparks, but no real fire.” She said that contrary to posts on local breaking news Facebook pages like Newsworking and Northampton County Emergency Alerts, no one was injured in the mishap, which was a result of the renovators hitting a gas line in the basement while they were working there.

“There were basically just sparks but no damage,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “Everyone is totally fine. The one gentleman singed his hair and has a minor burn on his neck like a sunburn and they are still here working, so all is well.”

The restaurant was closed at the time (it is normally closed Tuesdays) but will reopen as normal Wednesday.

Assisting Dewey Fire Company No. 1 at the scene were Lower Saucon Fire Rescue and Nancy Run Fire Company.

Maguire said a scooter accident that happened in the same general area about 10 minutes before the fire department was dispatched to 1774 Grille was unrelated.

Following that accident a woman was transported to the hospital by Dewey EMS for evaluation of unknown injuries, he said.

“It was a busy period on Main Street for a bit,” Maguire said.

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About Josh Popichak
Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is a journalist and publisher who is passionate about providing an open online platform and advocating for independent, local news. He has covered news--first in print, later online--in the Saucon Valley area of eastern Pennsylvania since 2005. In addition to writing extensively about local issues, he uses Facebook, Instagram and other social media to help personalize and broaden awareness of topics affecting the communities he covers. He also manages the Facebook pages for several local businesses as part of his business, Saucon Source LLC. He is a 1999 graduate of Bates College, where he was a history major and arts editor for the student newspaper.

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