Officials say a fire caused significant damage to a tavern in downtown Dover on Saturday night.

Dover firefighters responded to a 911 call from a passerby around 11:30 p.m. Saturday reporting smoke coming from the roof, sides and the front door of The Shanty Family Tavern at 471 Central Ave.

Upon arrival fire crews reported heavy smoke coming from the back of the building. The plate glass windows at the front of the restaurant were stained with smoke from the interior and extremely hot to the touch, fire officials said.

“Crews made their way through the front door, where they met with high heat, heavy smoke and fire,” said Dover Fire Chief Paul Haas in a statement.

Haas said firefighters were able to knock down the blaze using multiple hose lines. Crews spent an hour searching for and extinguishing remaining pockets of fire in the ceiling and walls throughout the interior of the restaurant.

Haas said officials believe the fire was burning unnoticed for some time before smoke became visible on the outside. The restaurant suffered significant damage in the blaze, Haas said.

A Facebook post indicates the tavern had been closed recently for renovations, but ownership announced on Feb. 28 the restaurant would be “opening soon.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Dover Fire and Rescue’s Fire Investigation Team, with assistance from the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office.

No injuries were reported.

Dover Fire requested mutual aid from the Rochester, Somersworth, Rollinsford, Durham, Lee, Newington and Portsmouth fire departments. Station coverage was provided by Newmarket; Lee; Berwick, Maine, South Berwick, Maine; Stewarts Ambulance and MacGregor Memorial EMS.

Friday, April 16, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021