BARTLETT — The popular Glen Junction Restaurant suffered major damage in an early morning fire last Saturday that was phoned in by a passer-by who saw smoke billowing out of the structure, which sits at the intersection of Route 16 and 320 in Glen.
The blaze may have broken out in the dining room, the owner said. The cause is still under investigation, Bartlett Fire Chief Pat Roberts said Monday.
The restaurant, which is known for the model railway winding its way around the walls, appeared in Saturday’s Sun cover story on popular breakfast eateries, which noted “A local mainstay for decades, Glen Junction literally offers all the bells and whistles (a model railroad layout runs overhead inside the family restaurant).”
The restaurant, which opened its doors on Sept 30, 1985, was owned by the Jannuzzi family for 30 years before they sold it in 2015 to Brian Fram. Today, it’s owned by Josh Cahill.
In a phone interview, Roberts described the response to the fire, which broke out at about 5:50 a.m. Saturday at the restaurant located at 12 U.S. Route 302.
“Myself and Engine 1 arrived at about the same time, and we found heavy fire and heavy smoke coming from the building,” said Roberts.
Other responding fire departments were Jackson, North Conway and Redstone. Bartlett-Jackson Ambulance also responded.
“We probably had approximately 30 firefighters total,” Roberts said.
Firefighters were able to get their water supply from the Lower Bartlett Fire Precinct hydrant system, he said.
“We had a fairly quick knockdown of the fire,” said Roberts, who said that took about 30 minutes. “We worked hard to save that building as much as we could.”
Despite the quick response, the building sustained heavy damage, and Roberts said Cahill is working with his insurance company to get an estimate on repairs.
Cahill, who was standing outside the building at around noon Saturday, told the Sun, “There’s a lot of damage. It’s going to take a long time to repair.”
Asked if he had been alerted by an alarm system, Cahill said, “Someone saw it and phoned it in.”
He said he couldn’t say what the cause was. “The state fire marshal’s still inside.”
Roberts said Cahill told him no one was inside the restaurant at the time of the fire.
On the Sun’s Facebook page, local resident Cameron Lambert said he called the fire in. He said he gets gas and coffee at the nearby Irving gas station and that he saw “smoke clouding the intersection.”
“I noticed something smelled different when I was pumping and then when I left, I was stuck at the light for an extended period of time and noticed all the smoke pouring out of the structure,” said Lambert.
After the fire was extinguished, Roberts said firefighters had to do “extensive overhaul.” That involved pulling down ceilings and walls to check for hidden embers.
“We had a small rekindle situation on the back of the building later on in the day, which we addressed, and got that out,” said Roberts.
Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation by Bartlett Fire Department and the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office, it is not considered suspicious, according to Roberts, who said, “It definitely was an accidental fire.”