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Fire destroys Moo’s Diner in Urbanna

Firemen rest in front of Moo’s Diner in Urbanna on Tuesday morning after extinguishing a blaze that gutted the ice cream parlor.
Volunteer firemen worked through the night in an effort to save Moo’s Diner in Urbanna from an early-morning blaze Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The well-known ice cream parlor and eatery, located on the corner of Virginia and Cross streets, was totally destroyed by the fire that started toward the rear of the building.

When members of the Middlesex County Volunteer Fire Department arrived around 1:45 a.m., the inside of the building was totally engulfed in flames, said fireman Joe Moschetti. The fire appears to have started either in the kitchen or in a storage room next to the kitchen, he said. A fire investigator will examine the scene and try to determine the cause.

Ladder trucks from Deltaville and Gloucester responded to the scene and helped contain the fire. Moschetti said firemen were concerned that the fire might spread to nearby buildings.

Moschetti said that the fire caused structural damage to the building and an excavator was on the scene in case it had to be demolished.

The diner was housed in an early 20th-century building that has been a landmark in Urbanna for nearly 100 years. In recent years, it has been a laundromat, but in its heyday the building housed the infamous Silver Slipper, a notorious saloon that aggravated Baptists and Methodists caught up in the aftermath of the Great Religious Awakening that discouraged the partaking of spirits.

A group of local residents and officials have set up a charitable fund to help the owners of the diner, Moo and J.D. Dodd, at EVB in Urbanna. Those wishing to make a donation can do so at any EVB branch, or send it directly to EVB, P.O. Box 817, Urbanna, VA 23175. Make checks payable to the Moo and J.D. Building Fund, acct #20122826.

posted 11.04.2008

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