Titusville Restaurant Fire Remains Under Investigation - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Titusville Restaurant Fire Remains Under Investigation

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Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of a massive fire in Titusville, which left two buildings heavily damaged.

The fire broke out around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, inside of Marias Pizza & Italian Restaurant and quickly spread to the New Life Care Center, located next door.

The bitter cold temperatures, mixed with smoke and flames, created extremely difficult conditions for firefighters.

"We actually had a second structure fire in the city at the same time, which was challenging, because all of our gear was tied up here," said Titusville Fire Chief Joe Lamey.  Obviously, with the cold temperatures, we had line issues and water supply issues.

Crews worked for more than five hours to get the fire under control.  By the time it was extinguished, both buildings received extensive damage.

"I believe both buildings sustained damage that will be irreplaceable, said Chief Lamey.   I'm sure at some point, they will be torn down."

For Justin Dudek and the employees at the Blue Canoe Brewery, it's a grim reminder of a fire they experienced several years ago.

In March of 2015, a massive fire broke out in Titusville's Historic Towne Square Complex, which is located across the street.

Blue Canoe Brewery is one of the tenants, and was closed for a year.

"It was devastating to all of us here, said Dudek.  Besides losing this place that we worked at for a long time, you have to worry about your future livelihood as well."

While the future of Maria's Pizza & Italian Restaurant is uncertain, Dudek says there is hope.

"The good news for them, I suppose, is the community really rallied to get everyone together to get these places open again, said Dudek.  I'm sure it will be the same for the places next door."

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