The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 21, 2009

Fire destroys Sunbury's Peppermint Lounge

Owner's new fire insurance policy took effect Friday

SUNBURY — More than 100 firefighters used in excess of 1 million gallons of water in battling a two-alarm blaze late Friday afternoon that destroyed a Market Street business.

Firefighters from 10 Valley companies fought the blaze that left The Peppermint Ristorante & Music Club, 700 Market St., in ruins and caused air quality concerns at a high rise for senior citizens across the street.

“It’s gone, baby,” Robert Snyder said of the business he has owned for 17 years, adding that his former fire insurance policy had expired Thursday. His new policy took effect Friday.


Click here for more photos


Snyder and four employees were setting up speakers downstairs around 4:30 p.m. in preparation for three bands’ performances Friday night when they saw smoke.

Snyder asked whether the smoke machine had been turned on.

His employees said no and grabbed fire extinguishers. Snyder headed for the second floor, opened a door and was overcome by smoke and flames.

“When I went upstairs, the smoke was like a thick fog,” he said. “And then there were flames, all of a sudden. I don’t know how it started. I can’t believe how fast it started, how quickly it spread.”

Snyder’s first concern was to “make sure everyone was safe, our neighbors.”

His hair singed, he dialed 911 and ran out of the building.

But Sunbury Fire Chief Chad Betz, who was driving down Market Street, had already called in the blaze after noticing smoke around 4:45 p.m.

“At first I didn’t think it would be this serious,” Betz said later Friday.

Workers from the Central Keystone Federal Credit Union, a block away, also called 911.

“We saw it when it all started,” said credit union employee Nicole Blank, of Sunbury. “We weren’t sure what it was ... just a lot of smoke, and then it began to billow out of the roof. There was smoke everywhere. Too much smoke. I was outside, and I couldn’t breathe.”

Text Only
  • xfire20b.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE — A fire Sunday damaged BJ’s Steak & Rib House, 291 Mill St., and endangered a neighboring shop and apartment building.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Chase leads to jail

    MILTON — Charges were pending Sunday against a man allegedly tied to a rash of recent burglaries in Milton borough who ran from Milton Police on Saturday.

    April 20, 2014

  • Police: 3 steal debit cards, $10G in jewelry for drug trip to NY

    NEW BERLIN — Three Valley teenagers are under investigation for allegedly stealing debit cards and roughly $10,000 in jewelry from three parked vehicles in Union County earlier this month to fund a trip to New York to buy drugs.

    April 20, 2014

  • Valley farmers keep eye out for deadly pig virus

    CAMP HILL — Pork producers across the commonwealth — and in the Valley — are on the alert for a still existing virus that last year killed 12 piglets in Pennsylvania and a million piglets around the country.

    April 20, 2014

  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.