PRINCETON – The origin and cause investigation on the fire that took Habanero’s Mexican Grill and Cantina on the morning of March 6 is expected to begin within the next week.
On Monday, Princeton Fire Chief Chuck Woolley said the restaurant’s insurance company is in the process of lining up equipment needed for the search.
The shambled building continues to stand surrounded by a boarded fence to keep trespassers out and to protect citizens on Princeton’s Main Street.
The Main Street building’s south wall was knocked in days after the fire, due to its instability and a potential danger of falling onto the neighboring Princeton Insurance Group’s building.
Woolley explained once investigators are on the scene, they will use an excavator to dig out the burned remains of the building. Once cleared, workers will sift and sort through the matter layer-by-later, as they look for any evidence showing a potential cause for the blaze.
“It’s a meticulous process,” he said.
Woolley said the roof section of the building, which fell through the second floor, will be examined, as well as all surface materials. The cooking equipment, located toward the back of the building, will also be uncovered and examined.
The burn and charring patterns on the walls will be studied to see where and how long the fire burned in certain areas around the structure.
The results of the investigation will be reported to Woolley, once completed.
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