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Fire closes Snow Dogs restaurant in Paonia

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Photo by Tamie Meck A fire investigator enters the Snow Dogs Restaurant last week after an electrical fire caused damage to the popular Paonia eatery in the early hours of Aug. 26. The sign on the window lets customers know the restaurant will be closed u

Snow Dogs Restaurant, located at 81 Highway 133, just south of Paonia, will be closed until further notice following an electrical fire that started in the early hours of Aug. 26.

The closure is very disappointing, said Anna Raith, who along with husband Kurt opened the restaurant in 2013.

Fortunately, the business wasn't a total loss, and the rest of the iconic building, which houses two other businesses and is located adjacent to the Redwood Arms Motel, wasn't damaged, thanks to quick actions by two gentlemen who were driving, saw flames and called 911, said Raith.

Dennis Carmichael reported seeing flames, according to a report from the Delta County Sheriff's Department. Carmichael called 911 at approximately 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, said Sheriff Fred McKee. The Paonia Volunteer Fire Department, North Fork Ambulance and sheriff's department were notified and arrived on the scene in time to extinguish the flames and prevent the fire from spreading. Damage was limited to the prep area of the kitchen.

It could have been much worse, said Raith. "No one was hurt."

The Raiths thanked Carmichael for making the call, emergency services crews for arriving quickly, and the community for the outpouring of support. The couple, who grew up in the Chicago area, plan to re-open as soon as possible and return to serving their locally famous hot dogs, burgers and fries, and other comfort foods.

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