EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - A two-alarm fire caused damage to a popular pizzeria and a 24-hour Dunkin Donuts in the Colchester Plaza on Route 18 on Tuesday morning. Mancini's restaurant, an East Brunswick business for the past five years, suffered "substantial damage," according to Len Dolan, East Brunswick Fire Inspector. The fire burned through the roof of Mancini's around 2:00 am. Nobody was on the premises there or in any other store at the strip mall, except for the 24 hour Dunkin Donuts. "No Dunkin Donuts staff members were hurt," said Inspector Dolan. At this time the EBFD has decared the fire, which began near Mancini's roof, to be of "unknown origin."
From the East Brunswick Fire Department: "At approximately 2:15am this morning BVFC was toned out on a general alarm assignment to assist with a smoke condition at Colchester Plaza (Tices Lane) in East Brunswick Independent Fire Company's response area. Upon investigation Fire District 2 crews found a working fire that was running the ceiling inside the strip mall. The fire went to a 2nd alarm as crews from all three township Fire Districts and the Milltown Fire Department worked to extinguish the fire. Chief 900, Engines 901 and 902 responded to the fire. Special thanks to the North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Company 2 for covering our station while EBFD worked on scene."
Mancini's is local business with lots of fans and loyal customers. A few even showed up today for lunch and were surprised by the damage. Frank Mancini, owner of the popular business was happy that both his employees and customers and those of the Dunkin Donuts were safe. "My main concern is for the workers. I have a responsibility to them and to my family," said Mr. Mancini as he surveyed the damage with several of the restaurant's employees offering support.
Mancini's is indeed a family restaurant, with deep roots in Brooklyn. As the menu indicates, "Chances are good that if you happen to eat at Mancini Pizza on Route 18 South, a member of the Mancini family will serve you. The "old man" and driving force behind the new pizzeria and restaurant - Leonardo Sr. - is often behind the counter with sons, Frank and Vito, whose sisters, Enza and Josephine, work as the wait staff. The mom, Maria, is often on the premises as is Joey, Frank and Vito's brother-in-law"
Frank Mancini vows to be "back even stronger," offering the crispy crust, Brooklyn-style pizza that has develped a following here in East Brunswick. Recommendation for Mancini's re-opening party? Try the nutella/banana pizza for dessert.