Family Loses Home and Business to Fire

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WEST PENN TOWNSHIP -- Fire destroyed a bar and the owner's apartment home above the restaurant in Schuylkill County.

The fire broke out around 7 a.m. Thursday at a bar and restaurant called the Clamtown Tavern near Tamaqua.

The family that owns the business lived in an apartment on the second floor.

Firefighters were up against heavy smoke when they were fighting the fire along Route 443 in West Penn Township.

The family of three that owns the Clamtown Tavern and lives upstairs all escaped the flames safely but firefighters said the building has a lot of damage and the family won't be able to move back in.

The Red Cross is helping them out.

"We are definitely extremely lucky and grateful that everybody is ok," said Dakota Karnes, the owner's daughter.

The building was still smoking at 11a.m.

The Clamtown Tavern was a popular gathering place. Some firefighters who were customers said knowing the layout helped them.

"In a way it does, but when it's filled smoke it's hard to get around you have all the chairs tables and bars stools," said Tom Schlorf, a firefighter.

It's unclear whether the family will rebuild or not. Police said the cause of the blaze was electrical.