Source : NBC 26
By Brittany Gajewski
Dec 30, 2014
SHAWANO, WI– A fire destroys a popular landmark in Shawano. Anello’s Torch Lite restaurant caught fire around 1:30a.m. Tuesday morning sending flames and thick smoke into the air. No one was injured but the building is destroyed and now the owner is wondering what’s next for her business with a place with a 100-year history of serving meals.
Even through the raging flames, some can still see the memories.
“Always had a good time in there, I was just in there on Sunday night,” says Marvin Schellpfeffer a long time frequenter of Anello’s Torch Lite. He’s in his 80’s now but remembers the first time he visited in his mid 50’s. By that point the restaurant had already been serving meals for about 70 years.
There’s no mistaking that Angelo’s Torch Lite and it’s staff was a light in Itself to the Shawna community.
“It’s a small town bar and everybody seems to know everybody in the place. It was more like a family bar,” adds Scalper.
Since 1897 this was the town’s go to restaurant. Even though the current owner, Rita Mondus, didn’t go there much growing up.
“Oh no. Because I was brought up and raised as a farmer. So we didn’t go out very much to eat in my time,” Mondus says with a genuine smile on her face. She says when she was young the restaurant was called the Continental and the only real time someone in their teens would go there was for prom or a special occasion.
But today the restaurant won’t have any farmers or families stopping by. It’s considered a complete loss by the fire department and Mondus. But today the owner’s pressing issue at hand isn’t her loss, it’s about others.
“I’ve had employees there for 20 some years and what do they do,” says Mondus.
Mondus says after the fire attempted to spread to her home, which is just next door to the restaurant, fire fighters sprung into action. Not just saving her home in the process but her 40 plus animals that she cares for as a petting zoo attraction for the community.
Despite all of the heartache dealt out in less than a few hours, today there is no why me discussion. Just thanks, even praise for those that have helped her along the way.
“We would have lost the house too. They put their lives on the the line. They were out there to do whatever they could do and they were here from the time I called 911…Probably five minutes,” adds Mondus.
Firefighters were able to save the animals in a petting zoo on the property. But the big challenge is how they will feed them with the restaurant gone.
If you would like to find out how you could help visit the Anello’s Torch Lite Facebook page. Their already discussing how the community can help out with the petting zoo.
Fire crews work to put out a fire at Anello’s Torch Lite restaurant early Tuesday morning.
The call came in around 1:30 Tuesday morning.
Massive flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the building.
The fire shut down part of Highway 22 in both directions for several hours between Lakeland road, and Richmond Street.
Nobody was inside the restaurant at the time, and no injuries have been reported.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.