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Fire crews respond to smoke at Denny’s

More than a dozen fire engines and trucks circled Denny’s, 220 Park Hills Plaza, on Saturday as the building filled with smoke.

Lakemont Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief David Lynch said emergency dispatch sent out a commercial fire call at about 12:30 p.m.

“They reported a smoke condition inside the restaurant near the kitchen area,” Lynch said.

By the time fire crews arrived on scene, he said the restaurant’s staff had evacuated the building, and no injuries were reported.

Despite heavy traffic along Pleasant Valley Boulevard and within Park Hills Plaza, first responders arrived at the scene quickly and began efforts to locate the smoke’s source while directing curious onlookers away from danger.

“One of the challenges in a business-heavy area like this, especially on the weekend, is everyone wants to see what’s going on,” Lynch said.

Traffic in the surrounding area slowed, hindering additional emergency crews ability to respond as quickly as possible, and some first responders were tasked with keeping pedestrians safe and clear.

While some crews checked the roof for hotspots, Lynch said others sought out the source of the smoke inside, where they eventually identified an electrical light ballast in the ceiling as the likely culprit. Lynch said firefighters shut down the power to the lighting fixture and turned the restaurant back over to its managers.

“We had the situation under control by about

1:30 p.m.,” he said.

Lakemont firefighters were assisted by firefighters from Hollidaysburg, Duncansville, Kittanning Trail, Newburg, Greenwood and Bellwood, Lynch said, as well as Logan Township Police and ambulance services.

“It was a good, quick response with lots of teamwork,” Lynch said.

Mirror Staff Writer Ike Fredregill is at 814-946-7458.

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