District 1 Fire Chief, Robert Authier confirmed for us today that it has been ruled an accidental fire.
“They were renovating a business to the side of the Crack of Dawn and they were sweating pipes with a propane torch. Where they were sweating the pipes there were 2 ceilings, so the fire was up in a void space,” explains Authier.
The workers who were renovating the old Domino’s section right next to the side of the restaurant, left sometime between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. after finishing up for the day.
“Normally you do a 30 minute fire watch when your sweating pipes, doesn’t sound like they did that,” says Authier.
Burning embers left started burning the wood in the void space, but it took several hours for the fire to actually ignite and spread to the restaurant.
At about 8:00 p.m. Monday was when the Fire Department got word that the building was on fire and when they arrived they could see heavy smoke coming from the vents in the roof.
For hours after firefighters received the initial call, they battled the flames and the smoke. At one point late into the evening a portion of the restaurant’s roof collapsed.
The Crack of Dawn which is located at 20 Bridge Street in South Hadley will likely need to be taken down as the building suffered extensive damage.
Witnesses we spoke to about the restaurant say it was the place to be for breakfast in the mornings.