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Well-known Cafe Gutted by Flames

BUTLER TOWNSHIP — A main road was shut down for several hours after a business went up in flames.

Fire officials said several departments were called in to help battle flames at the Bell House Cafe on Route 309 in Butler Township just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The shop, which sold sandwiches, coffee, and more, is a total loss, and the owner said he’s devastated.

Flames could be seen shooting out of every window at the business.

Firefighters doused the blaze with water in every direction, as they worked to contain the flames.

Even so, the Bell House Cafe on Route 309 in Butler Township was destroyed, and the owner is heartbroken.

“Loss hurt, I don’t know, I loved the place man,” said Tom Bell, owner.

The Valley Regional fire chief said his crew got the call just before 6 p.m.

Firefighters from several neighboring departments had to be called in to help fight the blaze.

“Basically when we got here we had heavy flames in the rear of the building and the side of the building. We had crews try to make the initial attack. When we got here we weren’t sure if there were people inside,” said Chief Rich Bodnar, of Valley Regional Fire Department.

The chief said no one was inside at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt, but the blaze did cause a headache for drivers.

Part of Route 309 had to be shut down in both directions for more than two hours to allow the trucks access to the scene.

As for the owner, Tom Bell and his family, they’ve been there for five years

Bell said he does have insurance, but he doesn’t know if they’ll be able to come back from such damage.

“I love my customers. I love the food. I love what we did. I love my staff. I love the bell house,” said Bell.

There is no word on what sparked the blaze. A state police fire marshal was called in to investigate.


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