A total of 32 fire companies were called to a massive fire that leveled the 698 Roadhouse in Elk Creek Township on Friday.
The building is a total loss. According to Erie County 911 Center, the fire began just after noon. When crews got there, heavy smoke and flames were pouring from the building and quickly spreading.
Crews say a meat smoker shed next to the building may have caught fire and spread to the bar. Luckily, there were no reports of any injuries. Crews say the dry weather and ground makes it very hard to put out a fire like this.
“The brush fires that are especially happening in the area, the brush fires burn hotter and they burn bigger. It’s the same thing with a structure fire. The building is hot enough and things combust and they go from there, and it’s harder to contain at that point.” said Andrew Pennock, West Erie County Emergency Management Coordinator.
Pennock says out in the county, fire hydrants are scarce. They were forced to haul in water from a local pond.
“The fire hydrants are a bit of a luxury at some points, but we do with what we can.” Pennock said.
Volunteer firefighter and fire police officer Bob Herman says the building held a lot of memories for him. He used to go there after meetings and drills for a bite to eat.
“It’s a tragedy for the area. It’s a small area and the current owner had been putting a lot of time and effort into it and even working with COVID.” Herman said.
The building was in the middle of renovation with a huge addition on the south side.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. While there were no injuries reported, one firefighter was checked out for minor smoke inhalation.