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Updated December 30, 2019
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Patrons, driver escape injury when car crashes into Brunswick pub Sunday evening

Firefighters say a woman backing out of a parking space by Byrnes Irish Pub struck a car, panicked, put the car in drive and drove through the front doorway.

A sedan sits where it crashed into a doorway of Byrnes Irish Pub in Brunswick early Sunday evening. No one was injured in the accident. Darcie Moore/The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — No one was hurt Sunday night when a car crashed through the doorway of Byrnes’ Irish Pub on Station Avenue.

The crash happened a little before 6 p.m.

Brunswick Fire Captain Chris Fairbanks said a woman was backing out of a parking space in front of Byrnes and backed into another vehicle. She then put the car in drive and drove her Honda Accord into the front of the pub.

The tires on the vehicle continued to spin, causing smoke to fill the pub. The restaurant was evacuated through a back door.

Brunswick police said the driver of the Honda was in her early 90s, but wouldn’t release further information Sunday. She was the only person in the car.

“It looks like it was an accident, as far as we can tell,” said pub owner Patrick Byrnes. “Doors and walls can be replaced and everybody’s fine, so it is what it is.”

He estimated the pub was about half-full at the time of the crash as open mic night was about to start.

“It jolted everybody a little bit but everyone took it in stride,” he said.

Neil Fishman, a musician, was preparing to perform when he heard a bang and then the restaurant began to fill with smoke.

“That’s why the manager had us get out of there quick,” he said. “The main thing is no one was in the entryway because that would be terrible.”

Brunswick Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Emerson said the building is still structurally sound, despite the damage.

“People in this establishment were very fortunate,” Emerson said.  “The manner in which she hit this building, it was just luck that no one got hurt.”

The fire department asked Byrnes to close until repairs are made. Emerson said the town’s code enforcement officer will examine the damage on Monday.

Byrnes said the pub has been in its Brunswick location for 10 years. In that time it has only been forced to close when a burst pipe in February 2016 shuttered the business for 3 1/2 weeks.

“We’ll get it fixed and get the beer flowing again soon,” he said Sunday. “We’re going to take the rest of the year off though.”

Byrnes expects repairs will take a couple of days.

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