BURRILLVILLE – An electric issue that caused sparks and smoke at Victory Diner, a popular family restaurant first built in 1930, was resolved Sunday afternoon.
Owners John and Rhonda Hanaway of Burrillville told NRI NOW Sunday evening that there was no actual blaze when firefighters arrived, only a brief issue caused by faulty wiring. The building did not sustain damage, and the Hanaways were hopeful that the restaurant would still be cleared to open Monday morning.
Reports of a fire came from those listening to the dispatch/scanner system, and some said the response illustrated problems with a recent change to service in the district.
Firefighters from the Oakland Mapleville Fire District responded to the call, which came in at 4:09 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 7. The first firefighter arrived at the scene in Nasonville in a personal vehicle eight minutes later. The first OMFD fire engine arrived at 4:18 p.m., nine minutes after the small fire was reported. The second engine arrived at 4:20.
NRI NOW was on the scene before the first medic vehicle, which pulled up at 4:26 p.m. Power to the building was shut off around 4:30.
According to national firefighting standards, two fire engines, one ladder truck, two tankers and a medic rescue with a total of 21 trained firefighters are required to respond to such a call within 6-8 minutes.
The Nasonville Fire Department, which is .3 miles from the Victory Diner, would normally have responded to the call, but paid staff was eliminated following a budget vote in the fire district on Thursday, Sept. 27. The district is one of four independent departments in Burrillville, and is governed by a seven-member elected operating committee.
Six days later, Chief Joseph Bourquin was terminated from his role just months after signing a two-year contract following a vote by the committee.
After speaking with their head chef who called in the problem, the Hanaways, who are away on vacation, say the issue was greatly exaggerated.
The couple recently purchased the diner from former owner Marcel Founteneau.