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Pizza House spared from fire

on December 01, 2013 2:00 AM

A bit of a good luck — and a fortunate choice in construction materials — apparently saved one of Indiana Borough’s landmark restaurants from a fiery disaster.

The Pizza House, which has served up slices for more than 40 years along Oakland Avenue, probably would have gone up in flames had it not been for a melted waterline that doused a dryer fire sometime Saturday morning, according to Indiana fire Chief Chuck Kelly.

“We’re very, very fortunate,” he said. “It would have been real nasty.”

Kelly said employees opening the restaurant Saturday morning knew something was amiss when they walked in and smelled smoke. They then called for help, he said.

The cause, Kelly said, was a dryer that had been left to run after employees closed up shop the previous night. At some point, the dryer burned up, but fortunately, a waterline made of plastic melted, and the water that sprayed out doused the fire before it got going, Kelly said.

Firefighters remained at the scene for about a half-hour to 45 minutes. They ventilated the restaurant, disconnected the dryer and removed it.

The restaurant remained closed throughout Saturday afternoon for cleanup. A post on the Pizza House Facebook page from Saturday said the restaurant would be closed “for a few days due to an electrical problem.”

Pizza House had been owned and operated by John Tsiris, who sold it to White Township entrepreneur Tom Zaucha earlier this year. Zaucha closed the restaurant for remodeling in the spring, and reopened it late in the summer.

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