When fire strikes a business, there’s not only the panic in the instant of the emergency, but concerns about getting the business up and running again. A business owner could certainly be excused for feeling bitter and asking “Why me?” But Tom Moloughney, owner of Nauna’s, had the opposite reaction when fire struck on Tuesday. He felt the warmth of the community in its immediate response, and thanked everybody in a comment on our story. We thought the response was worthy of its own post, and Moloughney sent us this picture, taken at the scene by Scott Kennedy, owner of Studio 042, who was one of those who pitched in immediately to help.
I want to thank the whole community for reaching out and offering their help and sympathy. Yesterday, at about 10:20 am, when we were preparing to open, smoke began to come out from the pizza oven flue where it penetrates up through the ceiling and out of the roof. The pizza maker grabbed the fire extinguisher there and sprayed it in the general area, but since the fire was inside the flue it could not be extinguished and only grew.
By that time smoke was coming out of the exhaust fan very heavily and a few people in the parking lot called the police. The police were there instantly and the fire department were there in five minutes. Literally FIVE minutes!
My security system captured the entire event and in only five minutes from the time the smoke was coming out of the roof heavily and the bystanders called the police, the fire department was on the roof, and inside the kitchen putting the fire out. They saved the building, and eliminated the possibility of it spreading to the Quick Chek side and the apartments above Quick Chek. They did an AMAZING job and deserve to be commended!!! Their rapid, courageous actions limited the damage to a very small section of the roof and will allow us to quickly repair and re-open. The worst damage is the smoke smell that we are beginning to remediate today.
We’ve also had dozens of people stop by and offer their help, which is really heartwarming. Scott Kennedy from Studio 042 printing made signs for free and hung them up himself in our windows explaining the situation so customers showing up would know what had happened. It’s so nice to see the people that you have been serving for years offer to help you when you are down. It was like “It’s a wonderful life” with people knocking on our doors offering to help, clean up or do whatever we need.
Even though the damage was limited, it will unfortunately take a couple weeks to re-open and I apologize for the inconvenience to our customers, especially the large groups that have private events booked and dinner reservations for this weekend. The good news is that Montclair does have a lot of wonderful restaurants so nobody will go hungry! We hope so see you all again once we re-open and we’ll probably have a big party to celebrate it. I’ll make sure the details are posted here on Baristanet once we establish the date. Thank you all again for your support!
Owner, Nauna’s Bella Casa