WEST DEER, Pa. - A Mother's Day celebration in Narcisi Winery in West Deer was cut short on Sunday by a small fire in the banquet room's kitchen wall.
The kitchen staff evacuated about 150 people from the room about 5 p.m. when smoke from inside the wall triggered the winery's fire alarm.
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Six fire departments responded, with crews entering the building to combat the fire with handheld houses from the interior, according to John Schwend, chief of North Hampton Volunteer Fire Department. When firefighters determined that the fire would be easier to fight from outside, they cut through the building's exterior with chain saws and hosed down the scorched area — about 80 square feet of the wall facing toward the woods.
Firefighters then cut a 2-by- 4-foot window near the roof to ventilate the area.
“We wanted to let it breathe, but also inflict as little property damage as possible,” Schwend said. “The fire was contained to the wall and did not spread to the attic or roof. It was out within half an hour.”
An Allegheny County fire marshal will investigate the cause, on which Schwend would not speculate.
The only area of the winery affected by the fire, according to owner Randy Narcisi, was the banquet room. The section of the building that stores the wine was not damaged by flames and the Narcisis' stock was not affected by any temperature changes, he said.
The winery will remain open through repairs.
West Hampton, Richland and all three West Deer fire departments responded.