Fire erupts at Lassen Ale Works
|Firefighters from the Susanville Fire Department prepare hose to fight a structure fire that reportedly started in the kitchen of the Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon in the early evening of Tuesday, Dec. 11.|
|It became tense when flames burst out of the roof of the building that has four upstairs apartments and is home to Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon. The extent of the damages is unknown at this time.|
|The Susanville Fire Department utilizes its ladder truck to access the flames from a structure fire. According to Margaret Liddiard, one of the ale house owners, water leaked into the hood vent and landed in the fryers. The dining hall, as well as residents in the upstairs apartments were evacuated from the building and no injuries have been reported.|
|Before assisting in extinguishing a structure fire at the Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon, a firefighter from the Susanville Protection Fire District helps another secure his oxygen tank. Photos by Ruth Ellis|
Dec. 11, 2012 — A scary, early evening fire broke out at a popular Uptown pub and eatery about 5:30 p.m. this evening, closing Main Street in Susanville for several hours. Flames were seen shooting out of the roof and smoke from the fire at Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon was visible from as far away Wingfield Road at Richmond Road.
According to Margaret Liddiard, one of the four owners, a pipe had burst in one of the upstairs apartments about an hour before the fire started and water had been turned off to that area.
However, water got into the hood vent and went down into the deep fat fryers.
When the fire started, Liddiard said the fire suppression system in the hood was activated and she ran into the kitchen to see business partner Eric Jefferts using a fire extinguisher.
She said there was a lot of smoke, so they cleared the dining hall. Residents in the upstairs apartments were also evacuated and no injuries were reported. It is believed at lleast two of the four apartments were occupied.
According to one patron in the building when the fire started, he was sitting and drinking his beer when he heard the water hit the fryer and all the cooks came running out of the kitchen. Jefferts ran in, looked around and then everyone was told to get out. The witness said he did see flames in the vent hood, but none in the kitchen at the time.
Ted Friedline, Susanville’s fire chief, said there was no fire in the basement where the storage tanks are and he was “pretty sure” the fire was contained to the kitchen on the first floor, but there was a lot of smoke.
He also said there was active fire between the east wall and the first and second floor. More information should be provided tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 12.
The owners of Lassen Ale Works do not own the building, they are renting it. The microbrewery opened in May and features two brewing and three fermentation tanks, as well as six 300-gallon cold storage tanks.
As firefighters worked to put the fire out, a crowd gathered around Pancera Plaza and on the sidewalk near the Bank of America parking lot, watching the efforts.
People were also seen coming up and giving Liddiard a hug.
She said they had received “numerous offers of support and encouragement,” and she also wanted to thank the Susanville Fire Department and all of the staff and customers at the ale house.
When asked what the future plans are Liddiard said, “rebuild, reopen, clean-up. You know … we’re in this for the long haul.”
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