The Willow Restaurant in Washington Court House is closed until further notice due to damage caused by a fire on Sunday night.
The fire occurred when the popular restaurant, located at 203 Glenn Ave., was closed so no employees or customers were injured, according to authorities.
According to the owners of The Willow, Denny and Kelly Smith, the damage to the restaurant was substantial and they do not have a reopening date as of yet.
Denny and Kelly were given permission to re-enter the business on Monday afternoon, and had not seen the damage at the time the Record-Herald spoke with them. As of 2 p.m. Monday, the cost of the damage was unknown.
“We’re going to go in, take the pictures and just see,” said Kelly.
According to the Washington Fire Department, the incident was initially reported at approximately 8:33 p.m. and was under control at 9:47 p.m.
The departments that offered mutual aide to the Washington Fire Department were the Bloomingburg Fire Department, Concord Green Fire Department, New Holland Fire Department and Scene Support Box 65.
“They (the firefighters) did a great job of finding the patterns, following the fire back to the area of origin. They’ll still continue the investigation to make sure that it is what they thought it was,” said Washington Fire Department Chief Tim Downing.
Downing said,”At this point in time we’re going through the security videos, my investigators have gone through the building and everything seems to match thus far as an accidental fire.”
According to Downing, the fire appears to have started in the area of the washer and dryer. Downing explained even though the cause remains undetermined, it is possible the fire could have started due to lint. He emphasized the importance of cleaning lint from the dryer both at homes and at businesses, as that is a cause of fires around this area.
Downing explained that the next step in determining the cause is to allow the insurance investigators to investigate what specifically caused the fire, as they have many resources at hand while the fire department doesn’t have the engineers that would be needed to determine if the cause was lint or a malfunction.
On Facebook, Denny and Kelly thanked the Washington Court House Fire Department and the surrounding departments that assisted in putting out the fire. They also thanked everyone in the community who has been supportive and those who have provided prayers for them during this time.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.