Cause determined for Wishbones fire


Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

ALTHOUGH SMOKE pours from the upstairs level of the Wishbones restaurant on Hurley's Silver Street on Dec. 12, the fire actually started on the lower level.

HURLEY - The cause of the fire that destroyed a landmark downtown Hurley restaurant has been determined.

According to Hurley Fire Chief Darrell Petrusha, a mechanical failure on the ground floor started a blaze that destroyed Wishbones on Silver Street on Dec. 12.

Petrusha said he spoke to the state fire marshal and, after an investigation, found no need for the marshal to come to Hurley.

"There was no evidence of foul play, and there was no insurance on the building, so there was no financial gain," Petrusha said. "We looked everything over ourselves."

The owners of the building, Charles and Mimi Moncher, were out of town when the fire occurred.

The fire's point of origin was found to be in the southwest corner of the main floor. It burned for "quite some time," Petrusha said, before the fire traveled into the empty apartment above.

"It burned there for quite awhile before the fire was called in," Petrusha said. "When it went up into the apartment, that is when people called it in. We were behind the eight ball before we even got there because of where it started."

The fire was a "hot, long-duration fire," according to Petrusha. Firefighters battled flames throughout the night in below-zero temperatures.

"The guys did a great job," Petrusha said. "We had a response time of four minutes and some-odd seconds and every one of my members, except two who were at work, responded to the scene. They did a fantastic job and the weather conditions were cold and windy."

The business was operated for many years as Connie's Supper Club.


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