Fire Damages Restaurant in Luzerne County

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Fire officials say a restaurant in Luzerne County is now structurally unsound after flames tore through the building Friday evening.

"I could see the whole thing in flames, flames were shooting pretty high in the air, smoke was billowing," said Yvonne Thomas.

The flames just before 6 p.m. Friday gutted Evan's Roadhouse outside Drums right in the middle of the dinner hour.

Fire officials say there were both workers and patrons in the restaurant at the time of the fire, but everyone made it out safely.

"The owner said there were about 25 people inside. We are working on determining the point of origin of the fire. When they noticed the fire they got everybody out, and cleared everybody out of the restaurant," said Deputy Chief William Chupela of Valley Regional Fire and Rescue.

It took about a half hour for firefighters to get the blaze under control, battling the fire and the warm weather.

"On a day like today, the heat, ya know, it's a fire, so heat, smoke, everything that goes with it."

Yvonne Thomas was driving by with her daughters when they spotted the flames. She said they have eaten at Evan's Roadhouse many times before.

"It's kind of devastating to see it, but like I said, I hope they rebuild it and get back up and running," said Thomas.

A state police fire marshal is expected to be on scene Saturday to determine the cause of the fire in Luzerne County.

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