Hope Is To Reopen By Weekend
By IAN AUSTIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Morey’s Family Restaurant, a staple of Oneonta eateries, narrowly avoided disaster on Sunday after a small fire broke out in one of the exterior walls.
Staff evacuated diners after the smell of smoke was noticed by someone inside, and a “possible structure fire” was reported to the Oneonta Fire Department at 5:30pm.
“Our cook, Cole Patenaude, used an fire extinguisher and put it out the before the Fire Department even arrived.” said Gail Morey, co-owner with husband Dick.
After firefighters arrived, they used a heat detector to lead them to the exterior wall that still felt hot. After carefully removing the sign for Gail’s Miniatures, crews cut a hole in the exterior wall but, despite the smell of smoke, found no fire or smoke.
Aside from smoke damage, the main extent of the damage was confined to a wall in Gail’s office, where the wall and a portion of the floor were cut out. However, although the damage was minimal, they still require to support of a service similar to ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba to help with repairs.
“Luckily we were open or it could have all gone up.” said Dick Morey. ” There is no heating or wiring in that particular wall. Yesterday was so windy, it was probably a cigarette butt that blew under there and began to smolder.”
“We just had the carpets cleaned last week!” said Gail. “Now everything has to be cleaned. You can still smell the smoke. We had to throw away all the food, and all the things on the salad bar.”
“We are hoping to be open by the weekend.” said Kitchen Manager Chuck Loutz. “Once we pass the fire code and Health department inspections, we will be open again.”