LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The popular Old Forge restaurant on Route 7 suffered severe damage in the rear of the building from a fire late Sunday morning.
There is damage in the salad bar and back of the building but owner Kirk Grippo said the eatery is going to be back open as soon as possible.
"I'm not sure exactly what happened," he said as firefighters checked the damage off the rear deck. "We're working on it already. I'm resilient. We're going to fix the damage to the end of the building, we've already been working together with the building inspectors, electrician, the insurance companies. We're going to figure it out real quick."
"They say it's OK from the salad bar forward, which may mean the downstairs is fine, too, so we're going to do everything we can to get it up and running and get back as fast as possible. I'm resilient. I'm not gonna let this go."
The Fire Department got the call about the blaze around 10 a.m. There were substantal smoke and flames were showing in the rear of the building. Several posts to Facebook showed black smoke and large flames coming off the deck area. The restaurant was not open at that hour and it's not clear if any employees were in the building. Its hours on Sunday are normally noon to 8.
The fire appeared to be contained by about 11 a.m. Fire Chief Jeff Dechaine reported that a majority of the fire was out and that firefighters were looking for extension in the building and hot spots in hard-to-reach areas because of the age of the building.
He said the cause and extent of the damage was not yet determined but that there were no reported injuries. The Berkshire Eagle later reported a firefighter was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield as a precaution.
The siding and decking on the rear of the building is charred and a hole is visible in the rear roof from the blaze.
Firefighters could be seen throwing what appeared to be charred furniture and wood off the deck.
Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock and Hinsdale fire departments responded to the scene. Route 7 was blocked off from traffic to accommodate response.
The Olde Forge is known for its chicken wings and extensive beer selection. It has been in business for more than 40 years.
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