MIDDLEBURY — Rising from the ashes of a fire, and in response to an outpouring of community support, Hilltop Restaurant reopened this week in a new location.

Owner Esther Rogers was two weeks short of celebrating the 40th anniversary of owning the restaurant when a grease fire broke out at about 6 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2018. Rogers had to tell customers who were delaying their exit to pay for their meals to stop that and get to safety. Everyone got out, and no one was injured. When the fire had been quelled six hours later, it was clear Rogers wouldn’t be celebrating the anniversary by serving up the famous cod or chicken on a crowded night.

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