Joshua's Restaurant and Tavern charred by fire
This past Saturday, the roof and other parts of Joshua's Restaurant and Tavern on Maine Street caught on fire, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. At 11:22 a.m. owner T.J. Siatras and bartender Bill Coburn discovered a fire as they were preparing to open the establishment. By the time the Brunswick Fire Department arrived, flames could be seen coming from the roof around the chimney.
An early guess connected the fire to the chimney, however after investigation this theory was ruled out. "The source of the fire is not 100 percent conclusive. The state fire marshal determined the origin to be in an electric sign mounted on the wall," said Deputy Chief Clark Labbe. It is uncertain whether the fire was caused by a short circuit, making it an electrical fire, or whether the sign got too hot and ignited the wood on the wall. The insurance company will later determine the answer.
Labbe explains that a large problem in this situation was with the building's installation. "The establishment was constructed in many different pieces at many different times, and the piecing together of the building left a void in a wall that allowed the fire to travel for a long time undetected" said Labbe.
"Everything was professionally installed and since it is thought to be a result of a fixture deficiency there is not a whole lot that could have been done differently. It was no one's fault and simply one of those statistical fires," said Siatras.
The fire was restricted mainly to the poolroom and upstairs restaurant, causing what is roughly estimated to be $90,000 in damage. However, the restoration requires the replacement of two building in addition to many other expenses. Owner Siatras said "the cost will be much higher-I can't even begin to tell, $100,000 goes very quickly."
When asked if business would be affected, Siatras' response was "sure it will." One area hurt by the fire that will be out of service for a while due to restoration purposes is the back pool room which had the pool and foosball tables, a section with great appeal to some of their customers. As a result the company's attraction may decline.
Joshua's will reopen later this week, but only eighty percent of the building will be made available. The upstairs restaurant is expected to undergo restoration until June.