Owner Hopes to Rebuild Gutted Beltway Diner and Restaurant

HAZLETON, Pa. -- The Beltway Diner and Restaurant in Hazleton was destroyed by flames Thursday night.

Firefighters were called around 10:30 p.m., just a short time after the business closed and everyone left.

"The owner left, I think, 5 to 10 (p.m.) and by 10:20 (p.m.) it was through the roof,” said Daniel Basala, a maintenance worker at the diner.

Workers say surveillance video shows the blaze started in the ceiling area and they were told it is likely electrical.

"The fire spread across the rafters on the ceiling, so all of the roof caved in, there's not much damage to the bottom, but when the roof caved in, it just destroyed the whole place. I feel bad for my employees that, you know, depend on this paycheck every week, but we will do our best to try to rebuild,” said owner Dino Kaousias of Drums.

He said he hopes to rebuild in six months.

The Beltway Diner and Restaurant has been in Hazleton for more than 20 years and diners were upset to see what happened.

"It was a nice place to come and eat and now I guess there will be no more stopping here to get something to eat until they do something, I guess,” said Mauro DeNicola Sr. of Hazleton.