All-Hands Fire Evacuates OBA Mediterranean Grill in Collingswood


Fire companies from six communities responded to the scene of a restaurant fire in downtown Collingswood Wednesday evening. No injuries were reported.

By Matt Skoufalos | March 29, 2023

Exterior, OBA Mediterranean Grill, Collingswood. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

Little more than a month after opening its doors in downtown Collingswood, one of the newest restaurants in the borough will be closed for repairs after an early evening fire.

Firefighters from six companies responded to an all-hands call at OBA Mediterranean Grill on Wednesday evening, after a fire evacuated the restaurant in the middle of dinner hours.

Collingswood Fire Chief Geoff Joyce said units were dispatched to the 500 block of Haddon Avenue at 6:31 p.m. for reports of a fire at a commercial building in the borough business district.

The incident went out as an all-hands call, drawing an automatic mutual aid response from fire companies in Westmont, Gloucester City, Pennsauken, Oaklyn, and Cherry Hill in support of Collingswood.

Joyce said the fire originated from a void above the kitchen, and extended throughout the building mechanical services nearby. It was placed under control within 25 minutes.

The incident is under investigation by fire marshals, and the cause of the fire is unknown.

In addition to the impact of the burn, the building sustained smoke and water damage, mainly in the areas of the roof, first-floor ceiling, and kitchen.

The restaurant was evacuated promptly, and no injuries were reported to staff, patrons, or first responders. The building will need to be renovated before reopening, Joyce said.

Owners Ferah Gulmez and Seyran Say were dismayed at the damage, but grateful for the swift response from emergency services personnel.

“The fire department was here very fast,” Gulmez said. “Thank God they put it out.”

“We’re going to redo it as soon as possible,” Say said.

Both Say and Gulmez said they have enjoyed a warm welcome to Collingswood in the short time they’ve operated there.

“It’s been wonderful,” Gulmez said.

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