SALEM TOWNSHIP—Backdraft Bar near The Hideout was destroyed in an early morning fire June 12.
Hamlin Fire & Rescue received their dispatch orders at 1:21 a.m. on June 13 and were on scene ten minutes later.
Hamlin Fire Chief Steve Price explained the building was fully involved by the time responders arrived. The complete wooden frame structure caught and spread easily, he said.
According to a release from Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Trooper Jason Mills, Backdraft Bar had just closed at the time of the fire. Inside were an employee and a patron.
“The fire was first observed in the covered patio of the restaurant by the employee,” states the release. “An attempt to extinguish the fire was unsuccessful.”
The release further states the employee alerted the two upstairs residents about the fire when the attempt to extinguish the fire failed.
“The fire quickly grew and extended to the main building destroying it,” states the release.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Firefighters were on scene for over six hours, said Price. The last of them rolled out around 7:45 a.m.
Helping Hamlin Fire & Rescue keep the fire under control were responders from Ledgedale, Lake Ariel, Maplewood, Lakeville, Madisonville, Moscow, Greene-Dreher and Hawley volunteer fire departments.
At the height of the blaze, Price estimated there were between 45 and 50 firefighters.
The Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Company was called in to handle a motor vehicle accident nearby which occurred during the fire at Backdraft.
Keeping the firefighters refreshed for the long battle, the Salvation Army brought their support team with food, water and coffee for the responders.
In regards to the responders, Price said all were “...excellent. We had cooperation across all aspects of what we had to get done.”
Price noted firefighters laid heavy water on the fire externally with a hard large-diameter hose.
A few hand-line crews worked at the fire from inside but were quickly called out when it became apparent the roof was at risk of collapse.
In order to reach the fire trapped inside, crews needed an excavator to dig away the structure.
Keeping a steady flow of water coming to the apparatus, tanker shuttles were deployed to ferry water from nearby ponds.
All things considered, Price noted the fire management went well.
“There were no injuries, firefighter or civilian,” he said. “Everybody was good.”