Delaney’s still smoldering after destructive fire

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The rubble is still smoldering after New Haven fire officials tear down a popular pub destroyed by a fire. Officials say Delaney’s Tap Room is a complete loss.

That restaurant is located on Whalley Avenue, in the heart of New Haven’s Westville section. The area around the fire is closed to traffic until further notice.

“Devastated, devastated. I was out here until 2 in the morning watching this,” said Susan Vonstade.

Spectators still gather around the smoke covered rubble of their beloved restaurant Delaney’s Tap Room, unable to take their eyes off the remains of what was once a staple in this Westville neighborhood for almost a hundred years.

PHOTO GALLERY: Delaney’s Pub Fire

Kat Gremse’s husband owned Delaneys, she said he tried to stop the fire.

“He thought he could put it out. He grabbed a fire extinguisher or something and then realized pretty quickly it was beyond his ability,” said Gremse.

Firefighters pour water on the debris from Delaney's Tap Room after a fire destroyed the building, Aug. 26, 2014.
Firefighters pour water on the debris from Delaney’s Tap Room after a fire destroyed the building, Aug. 26, 2014.

Susan Vonstade has been a Delaney’s customer for years. She says she tried to help in the small way that she could while building burned.

“I was the only one in Westville because I live in the condos that had my door open so people could use the bathroom,” said Vonstade.

ORIGINAL STORY: Delaney’s pub catches fire

Tuesday former Delaney’s employees watch, some say in disbelief, as their source of income is now gone.

“Grateful that everyone is safe and I think anything is fixable but yeah to look at it and see it up close it’s gut-wrenching,” said Gremse.

The loss is about more than a restaurant and bar.

“It’s an anchor. It’s a social anchor and economic anchor, a physical anchor right in the heart of the village here,” said Chris Heitmann, Westville Village Renaissance Alliance.

Peter Gremse, who has owned the business for about 14 years now, was too distraught to speak on camera earlier Tuesday but his wife Kat assures News 8 they are ready to rebuild.

“We’re going to remain strong and we’ll come back strong,” said Gremse.

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