Stephania Jimenez and Thomas Kienzler
A landmark Middletown bar has survived a fire in an upstairs apartment, but face possible water damage from the sprinkler system.
Some residents of apartments over Eli Cannon’s Tap Room in Middletown got a rude wake-up call on Monday morning when fire forced them from their homes on 695 Main St.
“The fire department was banging on my door … this morning, and said there was a fire,” said Christopher Russell.
Russell, along with at least nine other residents, was evacuated from the building after 6 a.m. when a passerby noticed smoke coming from two windows on the third floor and called for help, according to the Middletown Fire Department.
“The fire was confined to one room on the third floor. The occupant of the room was out of the room at the time, so there’s no injuries,” Fire Chief Gary Ouellette, of the Middletown Fire Department, said.
No one was hurt during the fire, but the building, which houses Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, is hurting.
“We have a little bit of water damage down through the building and through the restaurant,” Chief Ouellette said.
That’s bad news to people including Paul James, who said he visits the bar at least three times a week.
“This would be a loss. If anything happened to Eli’s, where would I go?” James asked.
For now, James will have to go someplace else while the building gets cleaned up.
Meantime, Russell is wondering whether the fire and subsequent water damage ruined any of his possessions.
“I’ll find out when I get in there,” he said.
The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.
Residents will be able to return to their apartments on Tuesday and Eli Cannon's is expected to reopen on Wednesday.