Fremont pizzeria is damaged by fireBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
January 30. 2014 9:32PM
FREMONT — Fremont Pizzeria and Restaurant owner Nick Kakouris knows he could have lost it all.
“We dodged a bullet,” said the longtime local restaurateur who spent Thursday scrambling to get his popular pizza place reopened after fire damaged the front of the building.
The fire broke out around 9 a.m. in the wall and ceiling area at the front of the restaurant at 431 Main St.
Fire Chief Richard Butler said an electrical problem in the front wall likely sparked the fire, which caused minor to moderate damage.
The damage was confined to the front wall and ceiling area.
Cleaning workers who were inside the restaurant reported the fire after smelling smoke.
Laura Schwarzer said she was cleaning along with two others who were cleaning carpets.
“All of a sudden they went to use their machine and it didn’t work and they thought maybe there was a fuse that blew, but then all of a sudden we could see and smell smoke up in the ceiling so we called right away,” she said.
Butler said the fire was brought under control fairly quickly.
Fremont firefighters were assisted at the scene by fire crews from Brentwood, Exeter, and Raymond while Kingston firefighters covered the Fremont station.
The restaurant, which is located next to the public safety complex, was closed at the time.
Kakouris said he plans to reopen the restaurant Friday, but the lower dining area at the front will likely remain closed for about a week so repairs can be made.
He said a cleaning company arrived after the fire to clean the entire restaurant and a contractor was expected to begin work immediately.
Kakouris was relieved that the fire broke out at a time when the cleaners were around.
“We were lucky it happened at that time of the day. If this happened at 10 at night we would have had some serious problems,” he said.