Firefighters were called to the Q.J. Green Garden restaurant at 271 Millburn Avenue around 1 p.m. today to investigate reports of heavy smoke pouring from the building’s chimney. Within minutes, smoke began pouring from vents and from under the roof at the rear of the building where the kitchen is located.
As the fire intensified, winds sent clouds of thick, choking smoke across Essex Street and the railroad tracks and a worker from a public utility use the cherry-picker on his truck to reach a nearby utility pole and cut the lines from the transformers to the burning building.
Firefighters directed water onto the rear of the building. When the blaze was being brought under control, firefighters using ladder trucks reached the roof and opened holes to ventilate the building.
Companies from Summit, Union, West Orange, Irvington and Maplewood were seen assisting Millburn battle the fire.
It is not known if anyone was injured during the fire. A rig from the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad was on the scene.
The restaurant occupied a building familiar to residents as the former site of the International House of Pancakes.