Shakin’ Bacon restaurant closed after fire

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A late night fire has destroyed the Shakin’ Bacon, a new Rensselaer restaurant that became a fast favorite.

“It started over by the oven by that divider wall,” Joe Ventrice, owner of the Shakin’ Bacon, said.

With all the equipment in a restaurant, Ventrice is shocked that a cell phone charger may have sparked the flames that destroyed his year-and-a-half-old restaurant.

“I literally just purchased new barstools and new tables. We were going to redo the walls and everything.”

The little place was one-of-a-kind. It served up creative dishes, many of them starring bacon.

Opening it had been a dream 20 years in the making.

On Thursday, he met with David Johnson, an owner of a fire restoration company. The damage is extensive and the building will have to be taken down to the studs.

“This is an open wound for him right now because nothing’s happened. I see what’s going to happen three to three and a half months down the road. I know it’s going to be a brand new beautiful place for his customers and himself,” Johnson said.

Ventrice is confident the restaurant can be rebuilt and reopened better than ever. That doesn’t stop him from asking how this could’ve happened.

“These are just some of the different chargers I had on my desk,” Albany Fire Veteran Executive Deputy Chief Joseph Toomey said.

Toomey says he’s seen fires caused by laptops but never a charger.

“It would overheat and you would have a failure possibly in the wire itself or in the plug where you plug it in.”

Toomey says the best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid using cheap third party chargers. Also, make sure to unplug the charger when you’re not using it and make sure the cord is stretched out flat.

“So the current can go through and it’s not being bound up.”

As the Rensselaer Fire Department continues its investigation, Ventrice is vowing to open back up.

“I got to get this back, it’s not an option, it’s a passion and it’s an effort thing so we’re going to get back to where we need to be,” Ventrice said.

Ventrice says the restoration should take about three months, and then he plans to have a grand re-opening.

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