Mr P's Smokehouse Almost Smoked

At Mr P’s Smokehouse, Schroon Lake’s hot new dining spot, it wasn’t the food that was smokin’ Friday, but the the restaurant itself, when a blaze broke out in a back stair well.

The fire started at around 5 pm, when a gas torch, used for some plumbing work, accidentally turned on. Co-owner Chris Palmetier was able to quickly douse the flames, before The Schroon Lake Fire Department arrived and made sure the blaze was out and all smoking debris was removed.

“I smelled smoke and quickly realized that it wasn’t the smoker. I came down the back stairs and saw the smoke. This could have been a tragedy,” Chris told Schroon Laker.

“This is the last thing a new restaurant needs,” said Shelby Davis, his partner in the restaurant.

The couple had been in business barely two weeks before Friday’s fire. The restaurant closed for about an hour before the real smoked stuff returned to center stage.

“We had customers lined up at 6 pm when we reopened,” Shelby said.

We caught up with Chris Saturday at the Grand Union across from his restaurant. As we talked about the fire, his iphone alarm sounded reminding him it was time to take some chicken out that had been in the smoker for six hours at around 212 degrees.

Moments later we were on hand as he took out the smoked chicken with house rub from his massive smoker, just feet from where the blaze broke out.

“This is the only smoke we want around here,” he said, grinning.