Fire damages Sherrie's Cafe

MANCHESTER - Sherrie's Cafe, a local breakfast and lunch time spot, suffered extensive damage Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning when a fire broke out in the back of the building. Manchester Fire Chief Philip 'Grub' Bourn said the call came in to the fire department about 11 p.m.

The fire was declared under control around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

"The fire started somewhere in the vicinity of the walk-in freezer, in the back of the building," he said. "There's some water and heat burned the whole back of the building down."

Bourn said the fire traveled up into the second floor attic and a hole had to be made in the roof to help fight the blaze. While the building is still standing, Bourn said it will take a structural engineer's assessment to see if it is salvageable or structurally sound.

The building is owned by FHS Holdings, a property holding company for rk Miles. Joe Miles, CEO Of rk Miles, said that they are not sure yet how long it will take to get the building back into working order or what caused the fire.

"It's awful, I feel terrible about it happening," he said. "It's [Sherrie's] a good business...and great busy lunch spot."

While FHS Holdings owns the property, the business itself is owned by Charlie Cave.

Cave said the business was scheduled to be closed this week for spring cleaning. They usually close twice a year, in late spring and after the fall foliage.

"It's unfortunate," he said. "Hopefully we'll get it back together soon."

Kathy Myers, one of the servers employed at the restaurant, said about 10 people work at Sherrie's and they are a close knit group. She's been working there for four years. Cave has owned the business for the past eight years, but it was in operation before he took over ownership. "I heard about the fire last night," Myers, who lives in Bennington said. "I had to come up here to see it with my own eyes."

Sherrie's is the meeting spot of the Manchester Lion's Club. Dave Pardo, a member of the group said they will come up with a temporary location for their last few meetings. The club does not meet during the summer months.

"We're hoping that Charlie and the staff are back up and operating in the fall when we meet again," he said.

The State Police and the Department of Public Safety came to tour and review the site on Wednesday morning. Bourn said they would continue their investigation into the afternoon.

"We're trying to find the point of origin and try to find out what started it," he said. "We found the point of origin ... it's like putting a big puzzle back together."

The assessed value of the building, which occupies .2 acres, is listed at $439,700, according to the Manchester Town Clerk's office.


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