OAKLAND – A fire that damaged Tracy’s Tavern at 835 Kennedy Memorial Drive early Sunday was caused by combustibles placed too close to a portable electrical heater, Fire Chief David Coughlin said just after 1:30 p.m.

Coughlin said the fire was ruled accidentental.

The portable heater was in a room where head cook and kitchen manager, Bob Tracy lived, according to Coughlin.

About 30 firefighters from Oakland, Belgrade, Sidney, Rome and Smithfield responded to the fire, which was reported at 12:30 a.m., Coughlin said.

The fire was difficult to fight, initially, because the building was full of smoke, and finding the back bedroom where the heater was located was a challenge, according to Coughlin. Ultimately,  firefighters accessed the area through a second-story window, he said.

Most of the firefighters cleared the scene around 3 a.m.; one firefighter stayed throughout the night and other state and local fire officials arrived at the scene later Sunday. They cleared the scene just before 1:30 p.m.

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