A small kitchen fire at Twigs Cafe in Tunkhannock (above) just after midnight on Monday prevented the restaurant from opening on Tuesday. Clean-up has been completed, and management opened the doors for business again on Wednesday. Charred ceiling tiles and a few burnt pans were tossed out a side door of Twigs onto the sidewalk Tuesday morning (top) as employees and volunteers helped to clean up the kitchen area and wipe down the restaurant.
Photos and story by Rick Hiduk
(Also published in the Rocket-Courier)
The lights were on inside Twig’s Cafe on Tioga Street in Tunkhannock on Tuesday morning, but the only activity that could be observed was the clanging of dishes and other sounds from inside and the occasional movement of charred items by employees to the curb on Warren Street through a side door. A small fire broke out after midnight that was contained to the kitchen area.
According to a message posted on the Twigs Cafe Facebook page, Triton Hose Company and Meshoppen Volunteer Fire department responded to the 12:23 am blaze, which had already been extinguished when they arrived.
“We are working to clean up the stove area where the fire was contained, and we will keep you posted,” the message reads. “On a positive note, no injuries occurred, and everybody is well.”
A few charred pans and ceiling tiles were put to the curb as employees and volunteers checked the status of equipment and cleaned up the powdery residue left behind by use of fire extinguishers.
A short time later, a new post indicated that the popular downtown eatery would reopen on Wednesday.
“It was a medium sized fire. It wasn’t full blown,” Twigs manager Jen Spaskiel told the Rocket-Courier. Cafe owner Jerry Bogedin happened to be returning to Twigs with a friend when the smoke alarms went off. Tunkhannock police chief Keith Carpenter was the next to respond, and he and Bogedin were able to put out the fire.
Firefighters and ambulance personnel also responded. “They were ready to take care of us, and we were so pleased with the response,” said Spaskiel. Together, those at the scene made sure that the gas lines were shut off.
“We believe that a hot element came in contact with some plastic,” Spaskiel related. In addition to needing to replace some ceiling tiles, the biggest issue was a fine powder that spread out from the kitchen.
“When you use a fire extinguisher, the dust goes every where,” she continued. “Anything that was open has been thrown out, and everything is being wiped down. All available staff members came to the restaurant to assist with the cleanup. “We are a close knit family here, and they pulled through to help us out,” said Spaskiel, who admits that the whole situation was scary, but staff and management are maintaining a sense of humor. “Our special this week is fire-roasted shrimp,” she announced with a laugh.