By Danny Schrafel
A fire next door to Huntington village bar P’s & Q’s Auto Body, which was made over last summer for an edition of reality TV series “Bar Rescue” filled downtown Huntington village with plumes of smoke late Monday night.
A police spokesperson confirmed the fire began at 9:58 p.m. at the Laundromat located between New York Sports Clubs and P’s & Q’s Auto Body.
Dozens of bystanders gathered at the scene; one said that they smelled smoke after it wafted into their window at an apartment above Munday’s in Huntington village.
The smoke spread throughout the commercial stretch, including into P’s and Q’s and Revive Nails and Spa. Clouds of thick black smoke belched out of the Laundromat when firefighters broke the glass front windows.
Huntington’s Erik Johansen was working out next door when he smelled “weird smoke’ at around 9:50 p.m.
He said it first smelled plasticky, like burning wires, then transitioned into a wood-burning smell. He and others ran through the gym, urging people to evacuate, although some were reticent to leave at first.
“It went up so fast,” he said.
First responders from multiple departments responded to the fire, as did Suffolk County Police as well as representatives from the Huntington Community First Aid Squad and town Public Safety office.
Next door to the Laundromat is the former home of the Artful Dodger, a storied Huntington village bar which was remade last summer into P’s & Q’s. The transformation was aired on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” hosted by Jon Taffer, a longtime food and beverage industry consultant with an expertise in nightclubs and pubs. He transformed the space into a speakeasy-style bar.
On the Huntington Speakeasy Facebook page, the official Facebook presence of P’s and Q’s, co-owner Mike Conforti told a well-wisher the bar sustained “some serious damage.” He vowed to be back in business “ASAP,” though.