Landmark Restaurant Wrecked By Flames

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ORWIGSBURG -- A landmark restaurant was wrecked by flames late last night in Schuylkill Couny. It was an emotional day for some in Orwigsburg.

A state police fire marshal and a police officer went  through some charred sections of Madelines Restaurant in Orwigsburg. They're searching an area where fire officials believe the blaze started.

It was an emotional day too as employees arrived to find their home away from home in ruins.Manager

Dan Blecker tried to console them and did have some good news among the sorrow.

"We're going to be up and running as soon as they release the building back to us. We are going to get people in here to see what we have to do to rebuild it," Blecker said.

News of the overnight fire quickly spread. Donna Trotman said she has fond memories of the restaurant and is sad to see it in ruins.

"Devastated I am, shocked totally shocked. I don't know if my friends found out about it but when i woke up and found out about it, it was disbelief, total disbelief," said Trotman.

Officials say the restaurant was equipped with a fire alarm.  It detected the flames and went off and that`s how firefighters got here. Assistant Fire Chief Chris Fessler said it could have been worse without the alarm.

"We could have got here and the place could have happen again fully involved. It`s a good thing they had an early detection device to alert us to a possible problem at that point," said Assistant Chief Fessler.

The restaurant went through several name changes. Neighbor Darrell Kunkel said it was a great place to eat.

"It's a historic structure. It's sad to see it the way it is. It's a beautiful structure it dates from the 20's. I know Muhammad Ali's trainer was over there for dinner with my father was it was known as the Heildelburg Inn," said Kunkel.

No word on when Madalines will reopen it's doors.