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ROYALSTON - Fire destroyed Pete & Henry’s Restaurant at 18 Main St. August 21st. The building was constructed in the 1800's and was part of a former mill that ran along the river. It housed many of business from a blacksmith shop all the way up to this eatery. It had a common cockloft where much of the building had add on's.
Fire Chief Keith R. Newton said firefighters initially made good progress, but were driven back by the flames and dense smoke coming from the kitchen of the restaurant. Fire got into the ceiling and spread to the rest of the building, he said, forcing firefighters to evacuate the building to fight it defensively, using exterior aerial trucks to pour water into the structure.
The fire destroyed most of the building; a portion left standing when the last hotspots were extinguished was demolished as a safety precaution, Chief Newton said.
“It’s a complete loss of the building,” the chief said late Tuesday night.
He said a neighbor next door smelled smoke around 2:40 p.m., called 911, and went to the firehouse to pull the alarm on the outside of the building. When firefighters arrived, they encountered heavy flames. The chief struck a second alarm, and received additional assistance to run a tanker operation because of challenges encountered with the hydrant system.
The restaurant was closed at the time of the fire, the building was secured, and nobody was inside, the chief said. No firefighters were injured.
Firefighters from Athol, Templeton, Winchendon, Phillipston, and Richmond, New Hampshire, went to the fire. Woods Ambulance provided medical call coverage in town, and firefighters from Troy, New Hampshire, covered the station.
Chief Newton said the cause of the fire is under investigation. He said the owners arrived at the fire, and said the building is insured. The state fire marshal’s office is assisting with the investigation.
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