Here’s the tragic story as it appeared in the paper that day. Strangely, the Journal’s coverage didn’t mention that for thirty years the building had been home to the Pueblo.
Damage $30,000 In Second Big Fire In 10 Days
By HARDY CRIST
A two-alarm blaze, Lorain’s second in 10 days, raced through the Gypsy Fiddle Inn early Monday, causing damage expected to reach into the $30,000 figures and sending seven firemen into the hospital.
Firemen battled the blazing structure for more than two hours, using three pumper trucks, plus an aerial ladder truck from three stations – No. 1, No. 2 and No. 8.
It was the second time within a year that firemen were called to the West Side restaurant. In 1961 they extinguished a blaze in the office and living quarters of the building.
A South Lorain apartment building was destroyed by fire Aug. 24. It was located at 2931 Pearl Ave.
Thirty-six off-duty firemen were called to man equipment and man empty stations shortly after the first alarm was sounded at 1:09 a.m. Monday.
Immediately after arriving at the restaurant, 4205 W. Erie Ave., a second alarm was sounded for additional equipment from the No. 2 and 8 stations.
While the investigation continues, no definite fire loss or cause has been determined yet. But it is believed that it may have been ignited in the kitchen, and damage to the $30,000 - valued structure may reach in excess of that figure.
Owner of the building is Olimpio Giannini.
When the fire broke out, the building was closed with no one reported to be inside.
The blaze, according to firemen, had a head-start on firefighting activities as although scores of spectators were lining W. Erie Ave. to watch it, no alarm was turned in until a passing motorist stopped at the police station with a report that he had seen a lot of smoke in the area.
Police immediately notified the fire department, but by the time they arrived the rear of the building was engulfed in flames.
A fire department official said the passing motorist was the only person to sound the alarm, and they have not determined how long the building might have been afire before they were notified.
The spectators, plus an inadequate water supply from the two nearest hydrants, added to the firemen’s woes as they attempted to extinguish the blaze.
Police, who were directing traffic on W. Erie Ave., had to arrest one Sheffield Lake man who shunned orders and drove his car onto an access road leading to the Gypsy Fiddle. Arrested was Tommy Bandagski, 28, of 762 W. Shore Blvd., who, according to police reports, entered the access road against police orders and drove his car across a fire hose that just had been laid.
Police said the man parked his car in such a manner that it was blocking a pumper truck that was in the process of laying hose, with that truck waiting for the car to be moved so additional hose could be laid. In addition, traffic was holding up an emergency vehicle trying to enter the access road. Bandagski was due for a Municipal Court appearance today.
Another hindrance was low water pressure from hydrants, which are fed through a “single-flow” pattern in that particular area instead of the usual “grid-type” feeding system. Fire Chief Alfred Nickley asked the Water Works to give increased pressure and provide an emergency tie-in for firefighting purposes.
Fire officials today said that most of the roof was destroyed, as well as considerable damage to the rear and west side of the two-story frame, stucco-covered restaurant and tavern. They said both the first and second floor remained intact, however.
Although accidents were not serious, seven firemen were sent to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment of injuries received while fighting the blaze. All released after treatment, the injured firemen were:
Daniel McNutt, 34, of 109 Waverly Pl., who suffered a cut of the left thumb.
Paul Linna, 32, of 1328 Maine Ave., who had a scratch of the right foot after stepping on a nail.
Ronald Stephanchick, 27, of 1709 W. 26th St., who had a muscle strain of the back.
Henry Pierce, 49, of 2815 Brookview Dr., who had a puncture wound of the right foot after stepping on a nail.
Bruno Rositano, 31, of 3009 Brookview Dr., who had a bruise of the head and back after being hit by fallling plaster.
Stanley Yourkivitch, 30, of 322 Seventh St., who had a first degree burn of the face and second degree burn of the fingers on his left hand.
Thomas Bickle, 30, of 1302 W. 38th St., who suffered a bruise of the neck when someone apparently fell on him.
****The fire was also covered in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. Both newspapers found it amusing that the upstairs dining room at the Gypsy Fiddle Inn was called the Flame Room.
Here are the photos and captions that accompanied their coverage.
|From the Plain Dealer of Sept. 4, 1962|
|From the Chronicle-Telegram of Sept. 4, 1962|
Both papers noted in their articles that the inn was formerly known as the Pueblo, and that the current owner Olympio Giannini was in the process of selling it on land contract to the operator of the tavern, Paul Czubak.
Next: the Wrap-up
Next: the Wrap-up