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Owner Vows to Reopen after Fire Rips Restaurant

BERWICK — Fire officials in Columbia County are trying to figure out what sparked a fire at a Greek restaurant Thursday morning. The owner of Christos Fam...

BERWICK -- Fire officials in Columbia County are trying to figure out what sparked a fire at a Greek restaurant Thursday morning.

The owner of Christos Family Restaurant says he has put his heart and soul into this place along Route 11, but after a fire ripped through the basement, he doesn't know when he'll see his customers again.

The tables at Christos Family Restaurant in Berwick were set and ready to go for breakfast, but there won't be a meal served here for a while.

An employee went to open the restaurant Thursday morning and saw smoke.

Fire crews from Berwick showed up around 6:30 a.m. and found a fire in the basement.

The owner of Christos says it was horrible to watch it all unfold. He just recently renovated the main floor of the restaurant.

"Statues, TVs, chairs, tables, everything brand new," said Christos Marras. "I put $100,000 four months ago!"

Most of the damage on the main floor is smoke and water related. Even so, the owner of the place says it hurts to see all he worked for being damaged.

"I love this place; it's my whole life. When I opened this, it put all my money in this place. I love this place," Marras said.

Katrina Karchner got her first job at Christos and has worked there ever since.

"We call it a family restaurant even though we're not all related, but we treat each other like family," she said.

Brianne Shepherd is a longtime customer and says the place looked great after the renovation.

"They completely redid everything from the ground up," said Shepherd. "He added new things in, took some old things out. He worked really hard on it."

Marras says he has insurance and plans to reopen. He wants to make sure his customers come back.

"I'm sorry. I'll miss them so much, so have a little patience. Three, four months, whatever, I'm going to miss them a lot."

Firefighters believe it was an electrical fire. They say the damage in the basement is pretty bad, but the building is not destroyed.

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