Fire causes significant damage at Saltwell Farm

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A fire has caused significant damage at Saltwell Farm, a small restaurant and farm in Overbrook.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, sous chef Mia Morrow was packing up to leave when she noticed a thick, smoky smell. She discovered it was coming from the laundry room dryer and immediately called 911, Saltwell Farm founders Shantel Grace and Rozz Petrozz wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday.

Shortly thereafter, the dryer burst into flames.

Firefighters with Consolidated Fire District No. 1 showed up, followed by District 2 first responders. “They stormed the farmhouse to save our home, our restaurant, and our animals from complete annihilation,” the founders wrote.

Rozz Petrozz and Shantel Grace

First responders “saved our farm, our lives, our dreams, and the lives of 7 baby kittens who were born in our basement unknowingly during service that evening,” they wrote. “… Everyone was safe. And that’s all that matters.”

The road to recovery is going to be a long one, the owners anticipate, but the restaurant a few miles southwest of Clinton Lake was once a long-abandoned farmhouse with its roof caving in. The owners spent months seeking to restore and preserve the neglected farmhouse before it opened.

The owners expressed deep gratitude for the first responders, Saltwell’s staff, and the community of Overbrook. They also apologized to those whose dinners — and a wedding — had to be canceled.

“To those who have stopped by and contacted us with so much emotional support, know that those acts of love mean more than anyone can imagine,” they wrote. “It’s like losing a loved one — you never forget who stopped by to say, ‘I see you and I love you, and I’m here while you’re hurting.’”

Their partner and friend, Kate Frick, set up a GoFundMe, “something that is personally very difficult for us to ask for and to even accept,” the founders wrote.

“But we’re quickly learning that being vulnerable and asking for help to get through life’s difficulties is a part of life, especially for small businesses like us, who exist not because of pockets of money, but rather only because of hard work and gumption.”

It was not clear when Saltwell might reopen. Photos the owners shared in the Facebook post showed a charred and blackened restroom area.

“We hope to have a better vision of re-opening in the coming weeks and will keep all our friends and guests notified as we approach November reservations and the holidays,” Grace and Petrozz wrote. “We love each and every one of you and we cannot wait to see you again soon.”

Read more about how Saltwell got started in this May 2022 article:

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