Reisterstown restaurant heavily damaged by fire Restaurant heavily damaged by fire

April 14, 1993|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Staff Writer

The Harryman House, a popular Reisterstown restaurant an tavern, received extensive damage early today when a fire raced through the building.

No one was in the restaurant when the fire broke out about 2 a.m. and no injuries were reported, officials said. Police were hunting for possible residents of two upstairs apartments.

Baltimore County police said the blaze apparently was caused by discarded smoking materials but it remains under investigation.

The fire was reported by a passer-by who saw smoke and flames. It was declared under control at 2:56 a.m.

A spokesman for the fire department said most of the two-story )) 18th century log-and-mortar building in the 300 block of Main St. was in flames when firefighters arrived.

Officials said the fire may have started in the bar section on the first floor, which also includes several dining rooms and a kitchen.

The second floor held banquet rooms and storage areas in addition to the apartments. Officials were trying to determine if any occupants had been home.

Within minutes of the alarm, firefighters from Reisterstown, Glyndon, Owings Mills, Garrison, Boring, Liberty Road, Randallstown, Chestnut Ridge and Lansdowne took up positions along Reisterstown Road and on nearby side streets.

The restaurant's rear parking lot also quickly filled with fire engines and hundreds of feet of hose.

Several ladders were placed against the building, allowing firefighters to fight the fire from the roof.

At least 50 firefighters surrounded the burning restaurant, battling the flames from all four sides.

At one point, firefighters cut holes in the roof to ventilate the heat and rid the interior of thick smoke.

Firefighters using oxygen tanks battled the fire from inside.

The fire reached open spaces between the first and second floors and also entered false ceilings, making it difficult to reach the flames, said a fire department official.

"We have a lot of old buildings in the county that have been renovated and their interiors split up into several rooms," said the spokesman.

He said many of the old buildings have a tendency to burn quickly.

County police from the Garrison District detoured light traffic onto Bond Avenue on the north and Glyndon Drive on the south.

Traffic on Reisterstown Road opened shortly before 4 a.m.

Virginia G. Schuster, who lives across the street from the restaurant, said she was awakened at 2 a.m. by the fire alarm signal from the Reisterstown station.

"As soon as I got up," she said, "I heard the fire engines coming down the street and when I looked outside I saw a red glow coming from the back of the restaurant."

"Its a terrible thing to see a fire like that," she said.

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