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Warren County Diner Goes Up In Flames Morning Of Soft Opening: ‘I’m So Heartbroken,’ Owner Says

A new diner in Warren County went up in flames just hours before it was scheduled to have its soft opening, leaving the owner heartbroken and desperate to rebuild.
A new diner in Warren County went up in flames just hours before it was scheduled to have its soft opening, leaving the owner heartbroken and desperate to rebuild. Photo Credit: Lopatcong Township Fire Company #2 via Facebook

A new diner in Warren County went up in flames just hours before it was scheduled to have its soft opening, leaving the owner heartbroken and desperate to rebuild.

Tony Arzuaga of Jersey City was planning to hold the soft opening for Catch 22 Diner on Route 22 East in Lopatcong Township on Friday, Sept. 16 when the building caught fire before dawn, he documented in a social media post in the ‘Lehigh Valley Food’ group.

“I’m so heartbroken,” Arzuaga writes. “At 4 a.m. I get a call from my daughter that [the] diner is on fire…I thought I was dreaming but it was real.”

An inspection by the fire marshall found that the exterior neon lights sparked the blaze, Arzuaga said — though he remains in bright spirits.

“The devil try to knock me down but God is good,” he said. “No one was hurt, this is a burden on me but it’s nothing I can’t handle…it could [have] been worse but again I’m glad no one was hurt, this is just a building that can get rebuilt so all I ask is for prayers and more prayers.”

The Palmer Municipal Fire Department worked with several other local crews to combat the blaze, which was under control by around 2:10 a.m., according to LehighValleyLive.

Assisting agencies include fire departments in Phillipsburg, Harmony Township, Pohatcong, Alpha, Greenwich, and Lopatcong.

Meanwhile, Arzuaga said he hopes to get the rebuild process underway and that he won't be held back.

"Yes we are very hurt but again I will do this and open very soon," he said.

Click here to view additional photos from the Lopatcong Township Fire Company.

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