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Chimney fire closes popular wood-fired pizza restaurant 900 Degrees

May 16. 2018 10:03PM
Manchester firefighters needed about 45 minutes to put out a chimey fire at the popular 900 Degrees pizza restaurant in the city's Millyard Wednesday morning. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — The popular pizza restaurant 900 Degrees was forced to close temporarily Wednesday after a chimney fire and exhaust malfunction sent smoke billowing throughout the Millyard restaurant, city fire officials said.

A malfuctionting fan blade on the rooftop exhaust system backed up the ventilation, sending the smoke into the restaurant, said District Fire Chief Michael Gamache. He said firefighters decided to use shovels and pails to clear embers from the wood-fired oven to avoid damage that would have resulted if water or chemicals were placed on the fire.

Workers had just started prep work, which included lighting the oven, at the restaurant when smoke started filling the 50 Dow St. building, Gamache said. Authorities were called about 10 a.m.

“Fan blades are failing everywhere — 757s and restaurants,” said Ken Rondeau, a co-owner of the restaurant.

He said he suspected 900 Degrees will be closed for at least a day. Workers will have to clean all surfaces. 

The restaurant brought in a cleaning company with industrial-strength fans to dispell any lingering smoke. And any food exposed to the smoke will have to be thrown away, Rondeau said.

The city health department started inspecting the restaurant once the fire department cleared the building.

Gamache estimated the damage at $5,000. Besides removing the smoky material, firefighters inspected the duct system and extinguished some chimney fires, he said.

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