SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A fire that damaged Chris's Family Restaurant Monday afternoon has been deemed accidental.
According to a release from Deputy Chief Daniel Sullivan of the South Orange Fire Department, the fire at 51 E. South Orange Ave. has been classified as accidental. The cause has not been determined, according to Sullivan.
The South Orange Fire Department received a telephone report of smoke conditions inside the restaurant at about 4:30 p.m., and upon arrival found smoke in the basement and first floor levels of the restaurant, according to Sullivan.
Firefighters conducted a quick assessment and search of both levels, and found a fire within a floor and wall space on the first floor near the front of the building, stated Sullivan.
"Substantial demolition and removal of wall and floor substrate was required to locate and attack the seat of the fire," stated the release from Sullivan. This fire was located and extinguished quickly, followed by an extensive search to find and extinguish any resulting hot spots or extension of the fire in the building."
South Orange police closed South Orange Avenue between Sloan Street and Scotland Road in both directions during the incident, and traffic was diverted around the scene for about two hours, with the road re-opened at about 6:20 p.m. on Monday, according to Sullivan.
Due to significant damage to the interior of the restaurant, the "South Orange Health Officer and South Orange Construction Official temporarily suspended this business operation until such time that appropriate repairs and compliance with various codes can be met in the interest of public health and safety," stated the release.