Fire Shows Pizzeria Owner It’s a Wonderful Life

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (16)

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!

Tom Moloughney,
Owner, Nauna’s Bella Casa


  1. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 07, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    Is this what it’s going to be like all summer? Dead as a nail? Where the heck is everybody? Even The Site That Shall Not Be Named Where Humor Goes to Die is about as lively as a cornfield in December. Seriously, this is unacceptable. I know town is practically empty but there’s no excuse not to be here. July and August are long, long months…

  2. POSTED BY kay  |  July 07, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    Oh ‘Roo dearest, I’m here for you!

  3. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 07, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    Very funny, Kay, very funny.

  4. POSTED BY yougottalovehim  |  July 07, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Naunas deserves nothing less. Good food and great people. Since I moved to this town 10+ years ago, its clear that they care about the neighborhood and want to be involved. Hardly a fundraiser for a school or anything else comes down the road that they don’t donate to. As opposed to another pizza joint in town that will go nameless. Gives nothing but attitude and people continue to spend their money there. But they did give back to the community once with a discounted fundraiser to honor themselves, only to shut it down when too many people showed up.

  5. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  July 07, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    As if on cue, Roo, my iTunes random just landed on Diana Krall’s ” Jingle Bells-Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” medley.

    Go figure.

    But, I’m here.

    The prof is always here- even when he’s not “here,” he’s here- it being cyberspace and all.

    Glad Nauna’s is okay. We used to go every Friday night with another family. Every. Friday. Night. Haven’t been in a while, but I do like the warm feeling I have knowing they are in my community!

    And will continue to be.

  6. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 07, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    I’m well accustomed to a parade of slow news days on this site. But the interminable squalling of walleroo about them above really is too much. Please, someone, put the affable dip out of his misery somehow. (Anyone for chloroform? Or chlorophyll?)

  7. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 07, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    I seem to have an inordinate number of Christmas tunes on my iPod. When I do random songs, I invariably get one or two. I usually don’t listen to them, especially in July, unless it’s Wynton Marsalis playing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, which is HOT. I could listen to that even if my pants were on fire.

  8. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 07, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Hello cathar, you ignorant slut. Nice of you to come out of your cave on such a slow news day. I have a question for you: did you kill croiagusanum? We haven’t heard from him in ages.

  9. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 07, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    Oh walleroo, you marshmallow-brained wuss, you, as usual your attempt at a cutting remark is the equivalent here of a modest paper cut. And who out there really cares what you have on your IPod? (Though I’d bet on “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the collected treacle of both Dan Zanes and Raffi.)

    Man up, walleroo, and at least drink 2% milk for a chance instead of skim.

  10. POSTED BY hfallon  |  July 07, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    My family’s been going to Nauna’s since the mid 1990s when the restaurant was across the street (we used to bring my son at dinner time and odds were good that we’d catch a police officer picking up their dinner — big thrill for little boy!) Drove by today and was glad to see that the renovation work is already begun without lengthy insurance investigation delays. These are good guys — always ready to help a school or community organization. And a good solid menu, too! Can’t wait to stop in for dinner. (Same goes for Char-Broil…)

  11. POSTED BY Conan  |  July 07, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    I think they oughta fire Gordon Ramsay over at Leone’s and bring in the Cathar / Walleroo show to clean up the restaurant. I, for one, would pay the big bucks to see “The Marsupial vs. The Misanthrope.” Better than Iron Chef, you betcha.

  12. POSTED BY textwoman2011  |  July 08, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    We’ll be there for the grand re-opening of Nauna’s. Miss you guys already.

  13. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 08, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    I happened to walk by Leone’s this afternoon. The film crew was there. All these 20-something people with wires coming out of their ears and gadgets clipped to their belt loops were walking around, looking important. (You think you’re better than me, huh?) Chatted up one of the cops standing around outside. Tells me how much he loves Leone’s, how happy he is that they’re getting this break, hopes it helps their business, shows them how to be an even better restaurant. Then he says to me, “You’ll get your break, too, man, it’ll come.” Sweet guy, I could’a kissed him.

  14. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  July 08, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    ‘roo, perhaps one day you really will get your break. Why am I back here? I really must go have a cocktail and shut down my iPad.

  15. POSTED BY hollykorus  |  July 08, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

    Cocktail? I get a text everytime the word “cocktail” Is mentioned in comments. I am taste testing nexts weeks N.T.C.

  16. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 09, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    This cop just has such a sunny disposition, and he was so generous with it. I by comparison am an ingrate and a whiner. Honestly, you find heroes in the damdest places.

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