Fire engulfs the rear of the Q.J. Green Garden restaurant on Millburn Avenue March 14.
Firefighters were called to the Q.J. Green Garden restaurant at 271 Millburn Ave. around 1 p.m. March 14 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. A worker from JCP&L used the cherry-picker on his truck to reach a nearby utility pole and cut the power lines from a cluster of transformers to the burning building.
Some firefighters directed water onto the rear of the building while others fought the fire from inside. As the blaze was 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 firefighters battle the fire and a rig from the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad was on the scene.
The restaurant occupied a building familiar to residents as a former site of an International House of Pancakes.
This week, Millburn Fire Chief Michael Roberts told The Item no one was injured in the fire.
The fire has been ruled “accidental,” Roberts said, but an investigation is continuing. The fire apparently began in the kitchen and was contained to the rear of the building, causing extensive damage to the kitchen area and the second floor and roof above it.