Morris Plains pizzeria damaged by fire, ruled an accident

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A fire that damaged a Morris Plains pizzeria this afternoon was caused by a wiring malfunction, said the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

A customer reported smoke coming from a dining room wall at Tony’s Pizzeria on Speedwell Avenue shortly after noon. The restaurant was evacuated, and it took firefighters 20 minutes to control the blaze. Morris Plains Fire Chief Michael Geary told The Star-Ledger that his firefighters had to rip through walls to get at the fire:

The neighborhood pizzeria has been in business for more than 30 years. But with that kind of damage, Geary said, “they’re going to be closed for a while.”

The prosecutor’s arson unit,  the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section, and the Morris Plains police investigated the fire, which was caused by old “knob and tube” wiring that overheated, said Capt. Jeffrey Paul, a spokesman for Prosecutor Robert Bianchi.

The blaze occurred about an hour after the Morris Plains Memorial Parade marched down Speedwell Avenue.

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