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Grease fire causes extensive damage to S.C. restaurant

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A South Charleston restaurant suffered extensive damage after a grease fire broke out in the kitchen.

A cook at Smokey's Rib House on Chestnut Street turned his back on the stove Tuesday evening only to turn back and find a grease fire had started, said Greg Petry, South Charleston's Fire Chief.

Petry said the cook, who he did not identify, tried to put the fire out and used three fire extinguishers to do so, but the blaze grew and got up into the ceiling. The restaurant and the upstairs apartments were evacuated.

Firefighters reported heavy smoke in the first floor restaurant and light smoke in the apartments. Firefighters from the city's Spring Hill station were first to arrive.

"Normally that station is staffed with only two firefighters but tonight they had three on the engine," Petry said. "That extra man helped them out a lot tonight."

Petry said firefighters were able to knock down the blaze quickly. Firefighters from each of the city's stations responded to the scene along with firefighters from Dunbar. He said Charleston sent an engine to cover South Charleston while they were at the restaurant.

One firefighter was injured while ventilating the building. Petry said the man cut his hand on a piece of glass but is OK.

The worst damage was in the kitchen. The apartments suffered only minor damage.

He said the restaurant is closed after the fire, but the owner plans to reopen.


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