Montrose Community Reacts to Restaurant Fire

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MONTROSE -- Flames destroyed a popular pizza shop in Susquehanna County as well as an apartment upstairs late Saturday night.

Crews worked in sub-zero temperatures for hours into the early morning to put out the fire at Original Italian Pizza on South Main Street in Montrose.

"It was sudden, and it was frightening but sad realizing that it was Original, which has been such a mainstay in our town for so long," says Diane Dean.

22 years to be exact. And Dean, a coach at Montrose High School, says the restaurant was a very friendly and giving operation.

"They've always been generous with all the school programs and good to the people. You go in there and you feel like they know you," added Dean.

Everyone made it out safely from the apartment. The restaurant was closed when the flames started. Now, the entire building is encased in ice.

The ice is making it hard for a state police fire marshal to find the cause.

Now, the community is left without a one of it's most popular places to eat.

"A loss for so many more people than just them, a lot of jobs lost, a whole living for this family, very sad that way," said Lavonne Lewis of Montrose.

With the loss of Original Italian Pizza, Montrose is not only losing a beloved restaurant, but the community is also losing a piece of its history.

"Before it was a restaurant, it was the home and doctor's office of Dr. Grace, a staple in this town, and he actually delivered me when I was born," said Lewis.

Folks in the Montrose area hope the restaurant bounces back and are ready to help the owners any way they can.

"Everybody will band together. We will help them for as much as they've helped everyone else," added Dean.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation until the foam and ice inside thaws, and officials can get a closer look at the restaurant.

The upstairs tenants have a place to stay.

Officials say as many as two dozen people are now without a job.

2 comments

  • Vicious Vets

    Sad but at least it’s not the work of a bad seed ex fire chief and his best friend looking to destroy and cash in like in forest city Four months ago. finest work of Muehlesein and Obelenus

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