Avanti fire call

A Verona firefighter clears out a hydrant in front of the Sow’s Ear on South Main Street while other firefighters investigate the source of a burning smell inside Avanti Italian Restaurant on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

A broken heating unit in a downtown building caused a brief ruckus around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, but it turned out to be no fire hazard and only a slightly disrupted dinner.

Verona Fire Department assistant fire chief Andrew Jensen told the Press a motor malfunction in an HVAC unit atop the building containing Avanti Italian Restaurant and second-floor apartment buildings caused a burnt rubber smell in the dining room.

Patrons continued to eat while Verona and Fitchburg trucks partially blocked South Main Street and prepared a hydrant. But after a quick investigation, the fire department canceled a requested ladder truck and cleared the scene in less than an hour.

— Jim Ferolie