Grease fire blamed for destroying Wayne Twp. tavern

The Barn tavern was destroyed by fire in Wayne Twp., Pennsylvania.

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (AP) – A fire chief say a grease fire likely sparked a blaze that burned down a popular western Pennsylvania tavern.

Residents in Wayne Township, near Ellwood City, say they’ve frequented The Ranch for more than 50 years.

Township Fire Chief Wes Cunningham says the fire burned through the roof, caused two walls to collapse and caused about $200,000 damage early Thursday afternoon.

A state police fire marshal was investigating, but Cunningham said it appears a grease fire in the kitchen spread.

The owners have said they don’t have insurance and were unsure whether they’ll rebuild.

Jeff Panella, who co-owns Tony’s Lounge in Edinburg, wants to help. He knows the owners of The Ranch and said they do a lot to help the community with fundraisers and now it’s time for the community to help them.

“Hoping to get a lot of bars in town here to do a benefit for these guys,” Panella said. “I was thinking maybe a poker run. That’s what they normally do out there. We can get all the bars in the surrounding community to get together and have a poker run for them, raise some money.”

Two people were inside the business when the fire broke out, but got out safely.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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