‘One of the worst’–Former Trainer’s Inn Goes up in Flames

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Flames destroyed a former bar and restaurant overnight in Carbon County.

Investigators say the fire started around midnight. Multiple crews worked to put out the flames for several hours Sunday morning.

After the fire was out, people looked on and relived memories from one of their favorite local hot spots.

Flames wrecked the popular Trainer's Inn near Lehighton. The business has been closed for about a year.

Around a dozen fire departments battled the billowing smoke and unforgiving fire.

"I've been here for over 40 years and this is probably one of the worst. The longest in duration for sure," said Franklin Township Fire Chief Lynn Diehl.

Several people pulled over to get a glance at the damage, snapping pictures of the place they say was a fixture in the community. One man staying at a hotel next door saw the fire in its early stages.

"At midnight, over there by where the kitchen was, there were flames billowing out and the top of the roof, and by around 2 a.m., it was just engulfed, the whole house," said Rick Kratz of Perkiomenville.

One man Newswatch 16 spoke with said he had been coming to the inn for nearly 40 years while it was open. He didn't hear about the fire until early Sunday morning. He was taken aback to see how extensive the damage was.

"I thought I was seeing things because I passed it around 3:30 yesterday afternoon to see if the owner was around because I knew him, and coming back this morning, I looked and it's really shocking, very shocking," said Stanley Zabo of Lehighton.

Investigators tell Newswatch 16 the flames sparked in the basement. No firefighters were hurt.

Former diners had hoped the restaurant would make a comeback.

"My wife and I and my grandkids loved to come here to eat. The food was great. The atmosphere was great. It's going to be missed," said Jan Kneas of Lehighton.

"I came here once with my grandfather and my cousin, and it was a nice place. It was upsetting to see it go up in flames," said Gavyn Schleicher of Lehighton.

A state police fire marshal says he may never know what caused the fire because there was too much damage.

Right now, investigators do not believe it is suspicious.

3 comments

    • scurfie

      If enough people would complain to management maybe then something would change. WNEP is nothing more than Geisinger Lite PR and man-on-the-street interviews. I only watch for the Talk Back segments.

  • brisny65

    “After the fire was out, people looked on and relived memories from one of their favorite local hot spots.” No pun intended?

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