Fire marshal investigates massive restaurant fire

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A popular Cumberland County restaurant was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.

Fire officials said there is not much to salvage at the Bonanza Steakhouse in South Middleton Township.

“I heard it on Channel 27 News this morning after I woke up,” said Gary Coippinger, who eats at Bonanza at least once a week. “Just curious just to see the sight. Just being here the other day, thought I'd see how bad it is.”

Fire officials said the restaurant is essentially gutted.

Fire officials said around 4:00 a.m. Saturday, the fire alarm went off.

“When we arrived, there was nothing evident. We did a 360 around the building, saw nothing,” said Ron Hamilton, the Emergency Services Administrator for S. Middleton Twp.

When firefighters went inside, they saw a little bit of smoke.

“This thing had been burning up in the attic for a while and we opened the doors and gave it some oxygen and a mini flashover occurred,” said Hamilton.

Fire officials said within 10 to 15 minutes flames were through the roof.

“We pulled everybody out and we did a defensive fight because there's two gigantic air conditioning units on the roof that fell down through. We new that and we didn't want anyone hurt. And we didn't want to have anybody hurt,” said Hamilton.

Officials said it took firefighters about two hours to put the flames out, but the damage was already done.

“We did the best we could and we have to protect our guys. We can't send them in in a dangerous situation. And it doesn't look like we did much, but we really tried. But it was beyond control,” said Hamilton.

One firefighter was injured when a piece of equipment hit him on the helmet. Hamilton said that firefighter has a concussion but will be okay.

Hamilton does not think the fire is suspicious. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause.

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