Sackets Harbor community reacts to ruined restaurant

Sackets Fire

SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. (WWNY) - Sackets Harbor is known to attract tourists because of it’s natural beauty, but Tuesday it was a pile of rubble that brought people downtown after a late night fire.

That is all that’s left of The Anchor Bar and Restaurant on west main street in the village.

All day, people stopped by, taking pictures and looking at the damage.

Firefighters were back on scene Tuesday afternoon putting out hotspots that were still smoldering from the overnight fire

The Anchor went up in flames around 11:30 Monday night.

The business had just closed for the night and officials say no one was in the building at the time.

The flames spread quickly and were seen shooting through the roof before it collapsed.

The flames were so intense, firefighters didn’t dare go inside.

Forced to fight it outside on the ground and overhead as several people watched, including other business owners.

“I just felt terrible for Tom and Pearl. They’re a staple in the community and they mean a lot to everybody here,” said Therese Johnson, owner of Harbor Paws Pet Grooming.

Johnson’s business is in the building right next to the Anchor.

She lives nearby and says she heard what sounded like a small explosion.

That’s when she went outside and saw the flames.

Randolph Pitkin owns the building that Harbor Paws is in.

He says a neighbor called and told him there was a fire that looked like it was pretty close to his building so he and his wife got in the car and rushed over.

“We certainly were relieved when we first got here, because all the way over your mind goes to the worst places,” said Pitkin, "you think, our building’s burning to the ground and we just bought it. So, we’re lucky, our friends weren’t so lucky, and our hearts go out to them.”

Tuesday morning, Pitkin and others were out cleaning up.

His building had little damage; broken glass, smoke, water and minor roof damage.

Harbor paws closed for the day Tuesday.

Johnson was rescheduling appointments with hopes of opening back up Wednesday.

She and other business owners in Sackets Harbor posted words of encouragement on Facebook to the anchor’s owners, Tom and Pearl.

Johnson says the Anchor was the place to go for pizza and wings.

"It’s a big loss for the community. Everybody comes here to hang out, all the locals, all year round. It’s one of the few places that stays open all year so when you get those snowy winter nights and there’s nothing to do, it’s like let’s go to the Anchor and have some drinks and shoot some pool and play darts and just have a good time. Everybody comes down. It’s just a great spot,” she said.

On the Anchor’s Facebook page, owner Tom Scozzafava, wrote the business will rebuild.

The Sackets Harbor fire chief says the fire appears to have started in the front corner of the building, which is where the entrance was.

Officials are still investigating what caused the fire, however, they say it does not appear to be suspicious.

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