MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A historic bar and restaurant in downtown Mechanicsburg has been left charred and soaking wet after a fire late Thursday night.
According to Mechanicsburg Fire Chief Gary Neff, the third floor of the Gingerbread Man on Main Street was battered with heavy smoke and flames just before 10:30 p.m. Neff also confirmed that there were people inside and there were no injuries.
At one point the building became unstable and firefighters had to evacuate. “Approximately 24 minutes into the fire we did an emergency evacuation of the building because the stability inside and the conditions were weakening and weak spots in the floors. The building is currently under renovation so we had a lot of extra hazards inside so we pulled everybody out of our group, hit the fire from the exterior, and after we got a good bit of the smoke out we were able to gain entry of the interior,” Chief Neff said.
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Most of the fire damage sustained was limited to the roof and loft area on the third floor. Initial inspection seems to point to the fire being accidental. Officials say they believe it may have started due to a fault somewhere on the third floor.
The Mechanicsburg fire chief says they did their best to save the structure and some ornate features, but there is a lot of smoke and damage. No one was injured in the fire. Thirteen people who lived in the apartments above the restaurant were displaced and receiving help from Red Cross.
Because of the fire, a facade grant program named About Face, which partners with downtown Mechanicsburg, has given $5,000 to the owner of the restaurant, Richard Phelan. The restaurant is expected to be renovated and will reopen in the future.