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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The owners of Shadyside’s Harris Grill will now rebuild after an early morning fire damaged the first floor of the popular bar and restaurant.
The fire was first reported just before 6:30 a.m. at the restaurant on Ellsworth Avenue. A passerby noticed the flames early Wednesday and called 911.
Police who got to the scene first reported flames shooting from the building.
“If we had waited another five or 10 minutes, it probably would have spread throughout the first floor and into the second, so whoever reported it, caught it in time and we made good, quick work,” said Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Battalion Chief Richard Brutt. “We knocked it down real fast and saved a lot of property.”
Firefighters cut the lock and shattered the glass front door, spraying water to cut back the flames before they spread.
“The building was sealed up, so units made quick entrance and knocked it down,” Chief Brutt said. “Nothing spread up to the second or third floor.”
Chief Brutt said the fire started in the reception area, just beyond the front door. He said it’s too soon in the investigation to determine the cause.
“It’s under investigation right now. I’m not sure what the cause was and there was a ventilator working so it did move a large amount of smoke through the building,” said Chief Brutt.
KDKA watched as the four owners surveyed the damage with flashlights. One of the owners reminded KDKA that this is not the first time the building has caught fire. The restaurant caught fire in 2007 and was closed for eight months for repairs.
“This is kind of devastating,” said Brogan McGowan, a Shadyside regular. “I know a bunch of folks that come here for the bar and the food and will be disappointed. I hope it comes back pretty quickly.”
Harris Grill has a second location Downtown and a sister restaurant in Mount Washington, The Shiloh Grill.
Officials said there was moderate damage inside.
No one was inside the restaurant when the fire started, and no injuries were reported.
Ellsworth Avenue was shut down between Maryland Avenue and Summerlea Street for much of the morning while crews finished clean up.