Western Md. fire levels restaurant and apartments

August 04, 1991

About 70 firefighters battled for four hours yesterday to control a fire that destroyed Bible's Seafood Restaurant and Highway Grocery and an attached apartment building on Route 144 near Cumberland.

The fire, which began at 3:30 p.m., burned the two buildings to the ground and displaced the six residents of the apartments, said Bob Thomas, deputy chief state fire marshal.

No occupants of the buildings were injured, but two firefighters were taken to Memorial Hospital with smoke inhalation and steam burns, he said.

State fire marshals have not determined the cause of the fire, which caused an estimated $150,000 in damage.

"We can't even get into the area where the fire started because of the heat from smoldering embers," Mr. Thomas said.

The fire began in the restaurant, owned by Richard D. Bible of Mount Savage. Employees noticed thick smoke coming from the kitchen and ran out of the one-story, wood-frame building.

A smoke detector in the restaurant did not go off, and the fire spread rapidly.

Firefighters from 10 departments in Allegany County and West Virginia responded to the blaze, Mr. Thomas said.

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