NEW YORK AP – Firefighters worked past midnight to gain control of a three-alarm fire that quickly spread through a Harlem building.The fire department says six firefighters and a city environmental protection worker sustained minor injuries in the blaze Friday.A family of two adults and four children was displaced.The fire started around 7 p.m. at Mama’s Fried Chicken at the intersection of Frederick Douglass Avenue and West 155th Street.More than 100 firefighters responded. They used tower ladders to knock down the fire from the outside.A video on Facebook showed smoke pouring from the roof of the two-story building near Rucker Park and the Macombs Dam Bridge.The cause is under investigation.The Red Cross says it’s providing the family temporary housing and money for food and clothes.
A fire at a restaurant at the Westfield Wheaton mall is being blamed on a buildup of grease and other substances in ductwork over the cooking area.The Montgomery County mall was evacuated on Saturday after the fire at the Crisp & Juicy Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant.Montgomery County Fire and Rescue assistant chief Scott Graham tells radio station WTOP-FM that the fire did about $180,000 in damage and that a firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze.The fire began around 11:15 a.m. Saturday. The mall reopened shortly after 2:30 p.m.
Unclean filters are one of the leading causes of commercial kitchen fires in Australia. As such, commercial kitchens are urged to review their filter maintenance and exhaust cleaning schedules.Graeme Williamson, Managing Director of Lotus Filters, is urging all Australian restaurant operators to review their filter cleaning schedule.“Not only do dirty kitchen filters cause a great OH&S concern for the restaurant and environment, something as simple as regular cleaning can ensure the safety of your staff and customers.
The need for consistent, reliable, scheduled filter cleaning has never been greater,” he said.The kitchen grease that travels into the canopies, ductwork and exhaust fan is highly flammable and difficult to detect. Fire occurs when a small spark from the kitchen stove meets the oil and grease inside the filters.“It is remarkable how many restaurant owners view scheduled filter cleaning maintenance as a hassle and cost to their business. Insurance claims are often rejected if there is no proof that the kitchen filters are regularly cleaned,” said Graeme.
Filthy ductwork led to an overnight kitchen fire at a Chinese takeout spot in Dorchester that caused $400,000 in damage and put a firefighter in the hospital with a shoulder injury, fire officials said.The two-alarm 2:45 a.m. fire at Yong Hon restaurant on Blue Hill Avenue broke out when hot gases from a stove ignited material in “ductwork that was not cleaned properly,” fire officials said.The restaurant sits on a block of single-story attached businesses. A neighboring Jamaican restaurant, hair studio and variety stores were also damaged.
The popular Market Square restaurant NOLA on the Square, damaged by fire more than four months ago, is scheduled to reopen sometime in early July.
“Everything is full speed ahead now,” said Nick Nicholas, who owns the buildings housing NOLA and a Bruegger’s bakery-cafe next door. “There are no issues remaining, other than getting it finished and reopened.”
Yves Carreau, owner of NOLA through the Big Y Group, said the fire started in ductwork above a pizza oven. Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said the official cause was a build-up of creosote in the ductwork, which he said was improperly installed. Creosote build-up happens a lot in wood-burning ovens, he said.
Jones said the city Bureau of Building Inspection is investigating who is at fault.
Quality Mechanicals of Verona installed the ductwork, Carreau has said.
Nick Birkos, vice president of Quality Mechanicals, said the company worked on heating and air conditioning in the restaurant. It received a fax from NOLA’s insurance company in February saying the fire and the company’s work were under investigation, Birkos said.
“Other than that, we haven’t seen any paperwork, document, insurance, nothing,” he said.
Insurance companies likely will go to court to determine who pays for the damage, Carreau said, adding that by the time crews complete renovation work, the claim will be about $1 million. That includes the cost of maintaining the business during the interruption, he said.
“Whatever we’ve lost, in terms of business, the insurance is making up for,” Carreau said. “We’re coming out whole.”
Smoke caused most of the damage, requiring all surfaces in the restaurant to be treated or replaced.
But for fans of the New Orleans-themed restaurant, which opened in March 2011, Carreau said nothing is changing.
“The restaurant is going to be identical,” he said.
Ben Kohser, president of PBI Construction in Gibsonia, which installed the oven, said the company’s insurer concluded it was not at fault. PBI is awaiting the result of an investigation from NOLA’s insurance company, he said.
Kohser and Carreau declined to give the names of their insurance companies.