“Heavy smoke showing; fire was in the kitchen area.” Titusville Fire Chief Joe Lamey kknew they had a long night ahead of them when they pulled up to the fire in Maria’s Italian Restaurant on West Spring Street.
More than a half dozen volunteer departments were called out to help put out the fire, but the flames had a head start and plenty of fuel. Lamey says, “The owners were on the scene and reported they had a large amount of cardboard boxes on the 2nd floor.” That second floor, generations ago, was home to the Titusville Herald.
Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water was poured on the buildings from the front and rear. Some of the problems in fighting the fire were the cold temperatures… and, it was really cold. Mayor Esther Smith tells us, “We had some hand lines that froze up, just the conditions of the ice.”
The fire comes a couple of years after flames gutted the town square building directly across the street. No word yet on the cause of the fire, an investigation is underway.