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Another Fire That Could Have Been Prevented: Grease Fire Causes $325,000 in Damages to May Jen Restaurant

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May Gen Restaurant

A popular restaurant in Amherst, NY called May Jen Restaurant had a two-alarm grease fire. Unfortunately, it will take several months to rebuild. There were no injuries, but the grease fire caused an estimated $325,000 in damages.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze after 45 minutes and Amherst officials immediately conducted an investigation. It’s been determined that the fire began in the kitchen and traveled through the exhaust ducts all the way to the roof of the building.

Co-owner of May Jen Restaurant Susan Leong said, “The fire which started at the cook line in the kitchen and spread to the roof was pretty damaging. In addition to the kitchen, there was water in the dining room as well. We are working with our insurance company but it will take several months to rebuild”.

If you are a restaurant owner or facility manager, always remember to have your kitchen exhaust system cleaned properly according to NFPA 96 Standards on a regular schedule. Just like this fire, grease build-up in the exhaust system can quickly ignite and lead to costly damage.

Read more about this grease fire here.

4 Cities. 4 Costly Grease Fires That Could Have Been Prevented.

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portsmouth restaurant fire

Grease fires are all too common in the restaurant industry and often the result of improper cleaning of kitchen exhaust systems. In the span of just a few days, four major restaurants experienced fires that could have been easily prevented. The consequences of improperly cleaned kitchen exhaust systems result in tragedies like these. These tragedies are preventable. Always hire certified kitchen exhaust cleaners (KECs) who work closely with AHJs to ensure your system is clean, up to code, and regularly maintained.

Grease fire hazards can be reduced when a restaurant’s kitchen exhaust system has been properly cleared of grease, not just from the hood, but throughout the entire system. If you are a facility manager or restaurant owner, always make sure to have your system regularly cleaned by certified kitchen exhaust cleaning technicians. Locate an IKECA Certified KEC with this tool.

Spokane Valley, WA – A popular Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant called Three Sisters had a grease fire that sparked $35,000 in damages just after 11am. According to NFPA, restaurant fires peak between 10-11am. Everyone inside was safely evacuated. The kitchen staff had fired up the wok and left it unattended. Flames shot up into the hood which caused leftover grease to ignite in the exhaust vent.

More on this story here.

Portsmouth, NH – Local favorite State Street Saloon was completely destroyed in a massive five alarm fire. The fire even spread to a nearby apartment complex, displacing 17 residents – some of which had to be rescued. The saloon collapsed and all that remains of the ventilation duct are twisted and charred pieces. Firefighters from 50 departments responded to the fire. The cause is still being investigated.

More on this story here.

Miamisburg, OH – Early in the morning this past Wednesday, the staff inside a Miamisburg Burger King were evacuated when a grease fire erupted and quickly spread to the hood ventilation system. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before they engulfed the restaurant’s attic. The restaurant underwent extensive cleaning and inspection before reopening.

More on this story here.

Poor kitchen exhaust system maintenance isn’t exclusive to the US. This last fire happened overseas.

London, England – Three people were rescued when built up grease in Mantra Restaurant’s kitchen exhaust system caused a fire. The blaze spread to the building itself and took firefighters an hour to extinguish. A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said, “Restaurant and take-away owners should always take care to make sure their kitchen exhaust systems are kept clean as a build-up of fat and grease within the filters can lead to a fire.”

More on this story here.


Grease Fire at Logan’s Roadhouse Causes $60,000 in Damages

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grease fire

Popular San Antonio restaurant Logan’s Roadhouse had a massive grease fire that resulted in about $60,000 in damages. Everyone inside was safely evacuated and more than a dozen fire units put out the fire.

Regular customer Kris Hampton said, “We looked out the window. We were sitting in the front of the restaurant and we saw black smoke. We really didn’t know what was going on but within 30 seconds the fire alarms went off and the restaurant was cleared”.

This fire could have been prevented if the kitchen exhaust system had been properly cleaned.

Read more on this story here.

Oakland, CA Warehouse Fire Shows Dangers of Violating Fire Codes

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Oakland Warehouse Fire

One of the deadliest fires in the United States occurred last Friday in a warehouse used as a concert space in Oakland, CA. The fire could have been prevented if fire codes were properly followed.

James Pauley, President of the National Fire Protection Association said, “Perhaps the greatest danger when it comes to fire safety is complacency, a feeling people may develop that disaster is unlikely to strike them because it hasn’t so far”. IKECA Members have come across many customers with this mentality that are unaware of the dangers of not abiding by safety regulations.

Read more about this recent fire here.

Hospital Fires Report by the U.S. Fire Administration

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hospital fires

We encourage you to read the following report on hospital fire statistics and share it with everyone you know. Cooking was the leading cause of 68% of hospital fires between 2012-2014, which totaled about $5 million in damages. Imagine how much lower that number would be if every kitchen exhaust system in hospitals were properly cleaned.

Read the full report from the U.S. Fire Administration here.

Manager: Texas Roadhouse to reopen Friday after grease fire

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Texas Roadhouse will try to reopen by Friday afternoon.

Manager Travis Shearing said the grease fire was contained to one hood over an oven, and that it looked a lot worse than it was.

Crews were called around 6 p.m. to the kitchen fire at the restaurant, 1750 N. Bechtle Ave.

UPDATE @ 8:40 p.m.

The restaurant was evacuated and no one was hurt. Customers went home, but employees tonight were still inside working so the restaurant can be back open for business Friday.

Springfield Fire Capt. Jeremy Linn said five off-duty firefighters had to be called in to respond to the fire at Texas Roadhouse because of the fires in the afternoon on Gallagher Street, where a vacant house caught fire and flames spread to two other dwellings.

UPDATE @ 8:15 p.m.

The fire was contained to the kitchen tonight at Texas Roadhouse in Springfield, fire officials said.


A fire broke out at dinnertime at Texas Roadhouse.

The fire started around 6 p.m. at the restaurant, 1750 N. Bechtle Ave.

A Home Depot worker said he was on break when he saw a large amount of black smoke pouring out of Texas Roadhouse.

“It was real thick,” Christopher Craft said of the smoke that billowed from the roof for about 20 to 30 seconds. “Right after that it kind of dissipated and was white smoke.”

Craft said he only noticed a small bit of damage to the roof from the fire. He said there were two fire engines and an ambulance that responded, and that he saw the restaurant employees off the the side of the building while firefighters were on scene. He said any diners inside had to leave, and the parking lot was cleared out.

Source: WHIO.COM

Fire in Newport Beach causes $450K in damages

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One firefighter was injured and a restaurant damaged after a fire started in the kitchen in Newport Beach early Sunday morning.

Firefighters were called to the Ho Sum Bistro at 3112 Newport Boulevard at around 2 a.m. when someone reported smoke coming from the restaurant, according to a statement released by the Newport Beach Fire Department.

Heavy black smoke was coming from the back of the building and firefighters forced their way into it. They searched the restaurant for any people inside but didn’t find anyone. Forty-three firefighters from Newport, Costa Mesa,Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley extinguished the blaze, which was confined to the kitchen.

Other parts of the restaurant were damaged by heat and smoke. Two nearby buildings were not damaged.

A firefighter was treated for minor injuries at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach then was released.

The blaze resulted in $450,000 worth of damage to the structure and its contents. Firefighters were still investigating how the blaze started.

The time it took to extinguish the fire was not immediately available.

Source: The Orange County Register
By Alma Fausto | June 19th, 2016


Historic Restaurant Total Loss After Grease Fire

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grease fire destroys historic Buffalo building

BUFFALO, NY – A historic restaurant on Buffalo’s East Side will have to close its doors after a fire early Saturday morning.

Gigi’s Soul Food Restaurant on East Ferry Street caught fire around 12:45 a.m. The Buffalo Fire Department estimated the damage was roughly $150,000; $100,000 to the building and $50,000 to the contents.

There were no injuries reported in the fire.

A cook from the restaurant said that the restaurant was a total loss and believes the cause was a grease fire.

At this point it is unclear if Gigi’s will rebuild. We spoke to Gigi’s owner, Blondine Harvin, as she arrived at the scene Saturday afternoon. She has operated the restaurant for 60 years. Asked if she thought there was a possibility the restaurant could reopen, she said, “Our customers have been here for years, we can’t let them down.”

Ellicott District Councilman and community leader Rev. Darius Pridgen said on his Facebook page Saturday that he was looking to raise $12,000 to help Gigi’s 12 employees who are currently without jobs. Volunteers have started a “Gigi’s fire help” Go Fund Me page to accept donations.

“Trust me, the lady will rise again!” says Pridgen.

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