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SOUTH MIDDLETON TWP. - One local fire official says a blaze that destroyed the Bonanza Steakhouse early Saturday morning doesn’t appear suspicious.

Although an exact cause remains unknown, South Middleton Township Emergency Services Administrator Ron Hamilton told abc27 News that the fire began in the restaurant’s attic “a while” before crews arrived on the scene around 4 a.m. in the 900 block of Walnut Bottom Road.

"When we arrived, there was nothing evident,” he said. “We did a 360 around the building, saw nothing.”

When firefighters went inside, Hamilton said, they only saw smoke.

“We opened the doors and gave it some oxygen and a mini flashover occurred," Hamilton said. “Fire officials said within 10 to 15 minutes flames were through the roof.”

Hamilton said crews evacuated the building shortly before two roof-top air conditioning units fell through the ceiling, opting instead to fight the blaze defensively for about two hours.

"We did the best we could and we have to protect our guys,” Hamilton said. “We can't send them into a dangerous situation. And it doesn't look like we did much, but we really tried, but it was beyond control.”

The blaze gutted the restaurant and sent one firefighter to Carlisle Regional Medical Center with a concussion after a piece of equipment clipped his helmet. The firefighter has since been released.

A state police fire marshal based in York County continues to investigate the cause. He did not return requests for comment Saturday.

Abc27 contributed to this report.


Posted earlier on Cumberlink.com

SOUTH MIDDLETON TWP. - A Cumberland County restaurant was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.

Fire officials said there is not much to salvage at the Bonanza Steakhouse in South Middleton Township.

"I heard it on Channel 27 News this morning after I woke up," said Gary Coippinger, who eats at Bonanza at least once a week. "Just curious just to see the sight. Just being here the other day, thought I'd see how bad it is."

Fire officials said the restaurant is essentially gutted.

Fire officials said around 4 a.m. Saturday, the fire alarm went off.

"When we arrived, there was nothing evident. We did a 360 around the building, saw nothing," said Ron Hamilton, the Emergency Services Administrator for South Middleton Township.

When firefighters went inside, they saw a little bit of smoke.

"This thing had been burning up in the attic for a while and we opened the doors and gave it some oxygen and a mini flashover occurred," said Hamilton.

Fire officials said within 10 to 15 minutes flames were through the roof.

"We pulled everybody out and we did a defensive fight because there's two gigantic air conditioning units on the roof that fell down through. We new that and we didn't want anyone hurt. And we didn't want to have anybody hurt," said Hamilton.

Officials said it took firefighters about two hours to put the flames out, but the damage was already done.

"We did the best we could and we have to protect our guys. We can't send them in in a dangerous situation. And it doesn't look like we did much, but we really tried. But it was beyond control," said Hamilton.

One firefighter was injured when a piece of equipment hit him on the helmet. Hamilton said that firefighter has a concussion but will be okay.

Hamilton does not think the fire is suspicious. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause.

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