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Hudson Valley

Rainbow Diner destroyed in afternoon fire

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Albany/HV: Rainbow Diner destroyed in afternoon fire
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An Ulster County diner was destroyed after a fire. The fire broke out during lunch at the Rainbow Diner with the owner, a few employees and number of patrons inside. John Wagner has more.

ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- An Ulster County diner was destroyed after a fire broke out during lunch time Monday.

Thankfully, everyone at the Rainbow Diner got out safely, but it took two and half hours with more than 200 firefighters to get the fire under control.

Fire officials say it all started on a grill when a grease fire was sucked up into the roof by ceiling vents.

One firefighter was sent to Ellenville Hospital with an ankle injury.

Patrons and employees say the diner is where locals grew up and where people didn't just come for the food.

"That's my second home. I have no family around here, so I'm there eight o'clock in the morning to ten o'clock at night when we close. It's just, that's home to everybody," Kathy Fox said.

"The dropped ceiling hides the fire. You can't get into it. There was a threat of collapse, so I couldn't send anyone inside. The heat. This makes firemen work twice as hard. This is one of those fires that didn't want to go out," Accord Fire District Chief Paul Ryder said.

Locals say the Rainbow Diner has been a staple in this area since 1947 and got its name because anytime it rained, a double rainbow would appear above the restaurant.

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