WAYNE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Lawrence County lost a landmark this week along Route 65 in Wayne Township.
The Ranch Restaurant and Lounge burned Thursday, after a fire began in the kitchen.
“Grease fire got out of hand and away from them. The fire ended up going through the vents and catchign the roof on fire,” said Wayne Township Fire Chief Wes Cunningham.
An RV behind the building and a large oil tank also burned. Black smoke could be seen from 10 miles away.
Crews from nine different fire departments responded to help shuttle water.
“We had hydrants probably approximately a mile down over the hill. We called extra tankers in from outlying townships and we had pretty much, for most of the time, we had good [amount of] water,” said Cunningham.
The father of the restaurant’s owner said they did not have insurance. There were only three people inside when the blaze broke out, and they all made it outside safely.
“It was difficult because of the way the structure was being mostly wood construction and it collapsed on us. There was a heavy breeze today blowing and it fed the fire in the roof and got across the roof of the structure quickly,” said Cunningham.
The spot was popular with motorcyclists, who often held charity fundraising poker games there. Investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire.