Hecky's Sub Shop in Hamburg was shut down today after a small fire broke out in the basement between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
The cause was an electrical malfunction in the store basement, where a socket had caught fire. The resulting smoke mostly escaped through the basement's front window, none making it into the main shop.
'We could smell smoke, but we couldn't see any,' said Ron Epting, who was in the shop when the workers started asking patrons to evacuate.
The Hamburg Fire Department received the call at 9:55 a.m.; they arrived a few minutes later, splitting crews up to find the smoke while evacuating the building.
'They banged on my door, explained the situation and told me I had to leave,' said Mike Ernstam, who lived above the shop. 'I'd been sleeping, but I was able to get myself out; they didn't have to take me out with them.'
No one was injured, and very few damages were reported.
'We very quickly isolated the fire situation and got it under control-within about 15 minutes,' said Hamburg deputy fire chief Jarrod Emes, 'which is lucky, since it's a very old building, like a lot in the borough, that's been dried out for years and years; we needed to prevent a larger fire from breaking out.'
Those who responded to the scene included fire departments from Hamburg, Shartlesville, Shoemakersville, Virginville and Port Clinton, as well as Hamburg EMS and Hamburg Police.
The shop was shut down, and will remain closed until Monday; according to Emes, as he was leaving, the store was calling an electrician to make repairs.