Customers were relaxing and watching the baseball games on the big screen tvs at TGI Fridays this evening around 8 p.m. when the smell of smoke came wafting in and a fire was detected in the ceiling in the kitchen area.
The manager quickly evacuated the building and called 911.
The Orange Volunteer Fire Department, which is right across the Boston Post Road from the restaurant responded in no time and quickly called for firefighters’ assistance from Woodbridge VFD and West Haven. and soon after requested Milford Fire come to be on standby for the town while OVFD was working.
While I was at the scene, the firefighters were concentrating on the roof, they used the ladder on Woodbridge’s Tower 1 to access it from the front of the building. Restaurant employees sat in the cold night air on the guardrail watching and wondering when they would be able to return to their jobs.
A UI truck arrived and the electricity to the restaurant was shut off as firefighters entered the building with bright halogen flashlights, their shadowy figures barely seen through the thick smoke.
Smaller groups of 2 or 3 firefighters checked the building’s exterior.
Firefighters on the roof reported finding fire on the roof and they were being pulled from the area before the structure could no longer hold them.
The sound of approaching fire sirens filled the air and then, the Boston Post Road was shut down at Lambert Road and fire hoses were hooked up to a fire hydrant and laid across the street to provide more water for an aerial attack.
That was around 9:50 p.m.
We will try to get an update tomorrow morning.