BUTLER TOWNSHIP — Damenti’s Restaurant in the Mountain Top area is in ruins after a fire late Monday night destroyed the property
The owners were sleeping in the upstairs section of the building and made it out safely but their future is now uncertain.
A fire marshal spent hours searching through the shell of Damenti’s Restaurant. The fire claimed a beloved restaurant on the first floor and the owner’s home above it.
The frozen sculptures inside the ice bar that Damenti’s is known for were left untouched but the restaurant on Route 309 is in shambles after fire tore through Monday night.
“Our biggest challenge was getting water here initially. Our closest water supply was at the Can Do Industrial Park in Sand Springs,” said Valley Regional Fire Chief Rich Bognar.
Chief Bognar says the flames, followed by ice from fire hoses, and bitter cold were a struggle. As a state police fire marshal looked for a cause, neighbors and loyal customers took pictures from their cars stopped along Route 309.
“It’s bad. I don’t know, they’re probably going to have to come and knock it down and totally rebuild. I know that would take a while. It’s very sad, especially for the community here,” said Kristen Booth of Plains Township.
The fire in the dining room left tables and chairs charred and covered with ice. After decades of business here, it’s still unclear if Damenti’s Restaurant will return.
“This is who they were. They both put their heart and soul into this. It’s very, very sad to see it go,” said Jane Matthews, a relative of the fire victims.
Matthews says it’s too soon to tell if the McDonalds will bring the restaurant back after losing their livelihood and their home.
“They lived upstairs, their children were raised here. It’s heartbreaking for everyone. They got out. The dog got out. They lost a cat.”
Damenti’s was closed all day on Monday.
Family members say smoke detectors woke up the owners and they made it out safely.
The cause has not been determined.