CLARENCE CENTER (WKBW) A popular Clarence Center restaurant, forcibly closed on one of the busiest days of the year after a fire early Friday morning on Goodrich Road.
Clarence Center firefighters responded to a fire at Gertie's restaurant around seven Friday morning.
"There was a fire in the boiler room earlier this morning. It was noticed by the second floor apartment residents. They called it in, heavy smoke in their apartment," Clarence Center Fire Chief Steven Leising said.
Both residents escaped without injury. No one was in the restaurant at the time.
"It was just heavy smoke, the smoke was banked down about three feet from the ceiling, heavy smoke. No visible fire, but once we opened the walls up we found the fire inside," Leising added.
Gertie's owner was too shaken up to speak on camera, but restaurant management tells us they were totally booked for Valentine's Day, and will now have to shut down for at least the next few days.
"I'm just very grateful that nobody was hurt. And I have faith because if this was allowed to happen, I know that it'll be also fixed," building owner Deborah Tangelder said.
Erie County fire investigators are now looking into what caused the fire. Officials estimated the fire caused about twenty thousand dollars in damage, but it was contained to the back of the building, outside the dining area of the restaurant.
"I'm just glad to see that a lot of the beauty that is inside the restaurant, none of that was destroyed. So this was a small damaged area and it can be repaired," Tangelder added.