HAZLETON — White River-Hazleton Fire Chief Chad Ellis said the cause of a fire that gutted an area favorite eating establishment early Friday morning is still undetermined.

The fire department was dispatched to the Ohana Hilltop Tavern at about 1:30 a.m., finding the north third of the building fully engulfed in flames. White River-Hazleton crews, with help from White River-Patoka firefighters, put out the fire and retired to put down a small hot spot later Friday morning.

Squelching the fire was slightly more complicated with the number of additions and roofs involved in the structure, which has served several purposes over the years.

While it's noted for its Sau-cheesy sandwiches and other fare, the Hilltop building was once a fish market, and also a bus stop.

Ellis said the fire apparently originated in the dining area, but the cause has not yet been established. He said the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office was at the scene for several hours Friday, and will have a report in coming days.

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