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Fire caused significant damage to Chowders ‘N Moor restaurant in Waterville early Saturday afternoon.
Waterville and Whitehouse firefighters responded to a 12:30 p.m. call to 312 South St., where a painter working in the basement first smelled smoke and an electrical smell above a suspended ceiling.
David Gallagher, the painter, said he attempted to douse the fire with an extinguisher, but smoke forced him out of the room several times.
Waterville firefighter Bob Grogan said his department is still investigating the fire’s cause.
Waitress Morgan Thompson said she and nine other employees were waiting for the “lunch rush” when the painter informed them of the smoke. About six customers were sitting at two tables when employees decided to escort them out of the building and call 911.
When firefighters entered the building, they found flames spreading from the basement office.
They reported heavy smoke and water damage to the building’s lower half and smoke damage throughout the restaurant.
Tina Kuron, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Tom, said she could not estimate the extent of damage nor predict how long restoration might take.
But she expected to have lost the menus she had created and saved on her now “melted” office computer.
She said she is thankful her recipes were stored at her other restaurant, the Chowders ‘N Moor on Airport Highway in Springfield Township. Shirley Schallery, Ms. Kuron’s sister and the restaurant’s cook,said she hopes that location will be worth the drive for customers of the restaurant in Waterville.
She added that she “cried so hard” to see the restaurant go up in smoke.
The Lucas County auditor lists the one-story building as built in 1954 and values the property at $184,000. The auditor lists the property owner as Fadya Resho of Rossford.
Chowders ‘N Moor has operated in the building since January, 2007, according to its Web site. It had opened elsewhere in Waterville in 2002, the site says.
Contact Traci Tillman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.