Pizzeria owner credits firefighters in saving business
The Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department was sent to the fire and was assisted by crews from the Cranesville, Cambridge Springs and Kearsarge fire departments and the McKean and Stancliff hose companies
Erie Times-News, Pa.
EDINBORO, Pa. — A longtime business owner spent Friday surveying the damage to his pizzeria and formulating plans for reopening following a fire that broke out in his building in the borough's downtown on Thursday evening.
John's Wildwood Pizza owner John Bellucci also took time to thank the volunteer firefighters who responded quickly to his business at 105 Erie St. after the fire was reported on Thursday at about 6:10 p.m. and who kept the flames from causing more extensive damage.
"The fire department was here in like one minute and they put the fire out instantly," Bellucci said. "If it had been five more minutes, this building probably would have been a total loss."
Bellucci said employees of the pizzeria reported the fire after they saw flames inside the business. He said he had just gotten home when he was notified of the fire and ran over to the business to find firefighters already on the scene.
"There was a lot of smoke but you didn't see flames coming out," he said.
The Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department was sent to the fire and was assisted by crews from the Cranesville, Cambridge Springs and Kearsarge fire departments and the McKean and Stancliff hose companies. The fire was reported under control at 7:39 p.m. Thursday. There were no injuries in the fire.
The fire started in the ductwork of the main rotary pizza oven and extended above the drop ceiling when the ductwork separated, said Robert Glenn, deputy chief of the Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department. The flames charred the ceiling but the fire did not extend to the second and third floors, although there was some moderate smoke damage to those floors, Glenn said.
A thank-you to the responding fire departments, as well as to the West Lake Fire Department, which stationed equipment at McKean Hose Co.'s station during the fire, was posted on the John's Wildwood Pizza Facebook page on Thursday night.
"I've got to tell you, we were very lucky as fires go," Bellucci said, rating the fire as "probably a one" on a one-to-10 scale. "This sets us back, for sure, but it's not that level of devastation."
Bellucci said the extent of damage to the three-story building that has housed his 40-year-old pizza business since 1987 was still being assessed on Friday.
"The biggest thing is this oven we have, it's a very unique and special oven. If there's water damage it might be shot. If it's not damaged, that helps us a lot," he said.
Bellucci said he and his employees are ready to begin cleaning up and moving forward after Thursday's fire.
"We're ready to start. Our goal is to get open as quickly as possible," he said.
Tim Hahn can be reached at 870-1731 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNhahn.
©2019 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)