Fire ruled accidental at Alexander’s Family Restaurant

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MAYFIELD, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Half a dozen fire departments rushed to the scene of a structure fire at Alexander’s Family Restaurant at 8:00 Thursday morning.

Now the popular restaurant in Lackawanna County is starting to clean up after a fire damaged it. John Wanas, co-owner of Alexander’s Family Restaurant, tells Eyewitness News, “It was scary to be honest. I heard… I thought it would be much worst. Thankfully the fire department got here and the cops also. They put a stop to it real quick.”

John Wanas is part owner of the business. His uncle, Alexander, is the main owner. He was inside at the time of the fire with three of his employees.

They all noticed smoke coming from the ceiling. In an effort to put it out, Alexander breathed in too much smoke. He was sent to the hospital and later released.

Wanas says, “That was my main concern, safety over everything. I’m just grateful that he’s alright.”

Firefighters ripped open the roof to let the smoke escape. On the inside, crews worked to get to the source of the fire.

Chief Joseph Tomcavage, Mayfield Borough, tells Eyewitness News, “We were able to make entry, we went in there, the crews knocked a good most of the ceiling, got the fire, knocked it down, then we ventilated it. It more or less started in the new section where the new meets the old.”

About a month ago, the restaurant opened its outdoor seating because of COVID-19 restrictions. This past Saturday they opened their indoor seating because Lackawanna County went into the green phase.

“It’s been a rough few months and we just got the tents out, and we’re trying to get all our customers back. But I think we’re going to be all right. We have a very loyal customer base. So, we’re grateful for that” said Wanas.

Chief Tomcavage says he ate dinner there recently and spoke to the owner.

“Talking about everything, happy to be open again. You know what I mean? Trying to get back, back on your feet after such a long… what? 14 weeks sitting still?” Tomcavage said.

The owners tell Eyewitness News, they plan to do some construction and make a great comeback.

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