Popular New Milford restaurant destroyed by fire


NEW MILFORD TOWNSHIP, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Devastating news out of Susquehanna County Wednesday night. A local business near New Milford is a complete loss after a fire ripped through it overnight.

It happened at The Summit on Route 11. Wednesday was busy for volunteer firefighters as they contained hot spots. After fire crews spent hours fighting the fire and putting out hotspots, residents and businesses woke up with no water. State police say the fire was burning for some time before it was discovered.

Fire lit up the night sky as flames shot out of The Summit Restaurant in New Milford Township. The call came in at around 11:30 Tuesday night by a passing motorist. It took several departments hours to contain the blaze. Wednesday morning the devastation could be seen.

“I was extremely sad. I felt an extreme feeling of loss,” former Summit employee Rebecca Kinney said.

Kinney worked at the restaurant in the 80s as a bartender and moved her way up to general manager.

“Bands every Friday night and Saturday night. Two to three hundred people. It was the place to go,” Kinney said.

Investigators say the fire started in the back center of the building. A state police fire marshal was on scene early Wednesday and said the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Peggy Blanchette of New Milford stopped for some ice cream across the street from the fire and reflected on what the restaurant was to this community.

“Jobs and a good place to go to eat. Just a good place to hang out and chit-chat with people,” Blanchette said.

The effects of the fire extend beyond the scene and into homes and businesses like Paradise Style Salon down the road in New Milford. Fire crews used all the water supply in the area. Margaret Daniels served customers throughout the morning but had to close later in the day.

“Water, no. We’ve lost power but no, nothing like this. Now I have some more customers. I am doing some foils so that is a little more detail than washing, toning. There is a couple steps to it, so I am actually about to take her to my house to rinse her hair,” Daniels said.

New Milford Borough has passed a mandatory boil-water order for property owners.

“Now I went home and turned on my faucet and I have no water, Kinney said.

The Summit Restaurant closed Sunday night for the weekend and planned to reopen Wednesday. People in the New Milford and surrounding communities have enjoyed The Summit Restaurant since the mid-1900s.

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