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Owner’s Actions Prevent Fire from Spreading to Local Bakery

Vallos Fire

Motorists passing by Vallos Bakery on Broadway in Salisbury Township Saturday morning became alarmed when they saw fire trucks surrounding it and thought the local landmark was ablaze.

Est. Read Time: 5 mins

An Eastern Salisbury Fire Department vehicle sits in front of Vallos Bakery shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday. Despite appearances, the bakery was not the structure that caught fire. The blaze was in a shed on a neighboring property that wraps around the Vallos Bakery property, to which it was largely confined.

Update: Vallos Bakery posted on Facebook Saturday that the business would be closed until Tuesday as a result of the fire. This story has been updated with that information.

Motorists passing by Vallos Bakery on Broadway in Salisbury Township Saturday morning became alarmed when they saw fire trucks surrounding it and thought the local landmark was ablaze.

Fortunately for fans of the 97-year-old business’s donuts, bread and other tempting treats, that was not the case.

A fast response by local firefighters coupled with bakery owner Scott Hanuschak’s determination to stop the fire–which broke out in a neighbor’s shed–prevented it from spreading to his building.

Hanuschak and other bakery staff members were at work when the fire erupted around 6:30 a.m., and Hanuschak said his first thought was to get a man he knew was in the outbuilding to safety.

After that, he said his priority became preventing the blaze from spreading to his property, which he said he accomplished with the aid of several fire extinguishers he discharged on the flames.

Hanuschak recently paid for extensive renovations to the family-owned bakery; an investment he said was also on his mind as he battled the fire, which was visible from nearby Seidersville Road.

Eastern Salisbury Fire Department volunteers were quickly on the scene of the blaze and had it fully extinguished before 8 a.m., when all that remained of the shed that burned was a charred hull.

A fire company official confirmed that there were no injuries as a result of the fire and said its cause remains under investigation.

Salisbury Township Police were also at the fire scene, which was at the rear of 1798 Broadway; a property that is owned by James and Rita Placotaris, according to Lehigh County property records.

The Placotaris property includes a building that faces Broadway and is home to Arelis Italian Restaurant, along with the sheds behind the Vallos property, which abuts it at 1800 Broadway.

Hanuschak explained the parcel’s unusual configuration is that of an ‘L’ shape which wraps around his property.

He said it would be business as usual Saturday at Vallos, where customers regularly line up to purchase a wide variety of donuts from inside its glass cases. However, a post published later in the day on the bakery’s Facebook page announced that Vallos would be closed because of the fire until Tuesday, Aug. 15.

Earlier this year, Vallos opened a second location at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Allentown.

Vallos Bakery Fire

Above, the charred remains of the shed that burned behind Vallos Bakery were surrounded by caution tape, as fire and police officials remained at the scene of the Saturday morning blaze.

Vallos Bakery owner Scott Hanuschak (center, wearing sunglasses) talks with other bakery employees outside the building, which was evacuated due to the fire in a neighbor’s outbuilding. Vallos is located at 1800 Broadway, Bethlehem, at the top of a hill that overlooks Fountain Hill and the city.

A number of Eastern Salisbury Fire Department vehicles remained at the scene at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The fire was largely confined to an outbuilding at the rear of the Vallos Bakery property. The shed is part of the neighboring Placotaris property that includes Arelis Italian Restaurant at 1798 Broadway.

Vallos Fire Fountain Hill Bethlehem

Firefighters from Eastern Salisbury Fire Department stand near the remains of the shed that caught fire behind Vallos Bakery Saturday morning.

Fire department caution tape blocked access to part of the shared parking lot behind Arelis Italian Restaurant and Vallos Bakery, which wraps around the businesses between entrances on Broadway and Seidersville Road.

The front of the Vallos Bakery building appeared unscathed following the fire in a shed behind it.

Vallos Bakery owner Scott Hanuschak talks with an Eastern Salisbury Fire Department official and a Salisbury Township police officer following the blaze. Bakery employees were already at work when the blaze erupted early Saturday morning.

Above, a police officer from the Salisbury Township Police Department documents damage at the scene of the fire while firefighters from Eastern Salisbury Fire Department stand near the shed that burned. The cause of the fire at 1798 Broadway remains under investigation.

The blaze in an outdoor shed was quickly brought under control before 8 a.m. Saturday, thanks to the efforts of Vallos Bakery owner Scott Hanuschak and the Eastern Salisbury Fire Department.

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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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