ROXBURY – The fire that “gutted” an Indian restaurant in the Ledgewood section of Roxbury Sunday morning was deemed accidental by the town fire official.
Roxbury Fire Official Mike Pellek said the fire at the Clay Oven, located on Route 46 and attached to the Roxbury Circle Motel, started between the first and second floors of the building above a cooking device.
The fire started at about 10 a.m. about 10 minutes after employees had started using the cooking equipment, Pellek said. He added that “ceiling-level” flames from the cooking equipment caused the blaze.
One Netcong firefighter burned his hand battling the fire and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
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The Roxbury Fire Station 1 Facebook page said the fire was under control within 45 minutes.
Before being knocked down, Pellek said the fire “gutted” the entire second floor of the restaurant, and the kitchen and dining area on the first floor suffered water damage. The building was deemed uninhabitable.
“They’re going to be closed for quite awhile,” Pellek said.
The Clay Oven owner Jitu Mehta said Tuesday it was too early to provide a timetable for reopening the restaurant.
The Clay Oven opened in 1999, and previously burned to the ground in a March 2010 electrical fire. It reopened 15 months later in summer 2011.