Tag Archives: Fire

Update on Elkhorn Kitchen fire was from grease build up in duct loss $500,000-$1million

ELKHORN—The fire that ripped through Abell’s Restaurant and Lounge on Friday morning caused between $500,000 and $1 million damage, Elkhorn Fire Department Chief Rod Smith said.

The cause of the fire at N 6427 Highway 12 appears to be accidental, Smith said. The findings are preliminary because the investigation by the fire department and insurance company is not complete.

The fire began at about 4:50 a.m. in the restaurant’s kitchen and probably was fed by grease built up through the years in the ceiling and ventilation spaces, Smith said earlier.

Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents looked over the damage Friday.Smith said having federal agents at the scene is not unusual after a commercial fire with a large loss.

“It doesn’t mean just because they’re here it’s a criminal investigation,” Smith said. “It’s just a big dollar loss, and they have more ability and more resources to tap into for that type of investigation and loss.”

The business is owned by Ryan Ahearn and Mike Kapitan. Smith said the owners are waiting for a final damage total before deciding whether to rebuild.

“They haven’t made any decisions at this time as they don’t know what the effects and loss … They’re looking at their options,” Smith said.

At the scene of the fire Friday, several people said Abell’s was the local gathering place.The Red Cross is helping two families who lived in apartments attached to the business, Smith said.

Massive blaze breaks out at popular pub spread threw Duct work

A blistering blaze ripped through a popular pub in Midtown’s Theater District Saturday, authorities said.

The fire erupted in the kitchen of Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant on W. 45th St. near Seventh Ave. at 5:32 p.m. and quickly spread through the building’s duct work, officials said.

More than 100 firefighters were called in to put out blazes in both the first and third floors, officials said.

The fire was deemed under control just after 7 p.m.

Workers and patrons ran out of the bar before the fire spread too far.

One firefighter was treated at the scene for a minor injury, officials said.

A second man was also injured, but refused medical aid.The FDNY was investigating what sparked the fire Saturday night.

Investigators Still Determining Cause Of grease fire

 A downtown Arlington Hts. restaurant was likely saved when a nearby resident saw smoke coming from the roof and called 911.

The resident had returned home around 12:40 a.m. and heard an alarm, according to an Arlington Hts. Police Dept. press release. They then saw smoke omitting from the one-story restaurant located at 17 W. Campbell St. Fire and police responded to the scene at 12:45 a.m. Monday. Ten fire companies responded, including engines from the Prospect Hts. Fire Protection Dist. and Rolling Meadow Fire Dept.

Firefighters entered the building and immediately encountered heavy smoke, but no flames, according to the press release. Firefighters used a ladder truck to reach the roof and discovered flames in an exhaust vent. The firefighters vented the roof to attack the fire and suppressed another blaze in the kitchen next to a cook-top hood. It took about 45 minutes to extinguish the fire.

The fire and police department are investigating the cause, though it is believed to be accidental. Evidence shows the source may have been near a kitchen stove and its ventilation system. Fire Chief Ken Koeppen said yesterday (Tuesday) the exact source is still being determined. Insurance company representatives joined fire investigators at the scene Tuesday.

The restaurant is closed for now. However, the damage was limited to the roof and kitchen and was not extensive. Koeppen expects Salsa 17 could reopen within a week, though the restaurant’s owners will first need approval from the village’s building and health departments.

Protect your restaurant from a kitchen grease fire

One of the biggest threats to restaurant and bar owners is fire, which can be a costly and potentially business-ending disaster.

Grease accumulation, equipment malfunction and general poor housekeeping are all potential hazards.

From 2006 to 2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in restaurants and bars were reported to U.S. fire departments each year.

Associated average annual losses included two civilian deaths per year, 115 civilian injuries and $246 million in property loss, according to the National Fire Protection Agency.

Although 71 percent of restaurant and bar fires remain relatively small, they are no less damaging to business owners.

Loss of revenue, stress on staff and the cost of repairs make bouncing back an expensive task.

On top of this, owners run the risk of losing customers to competitors when “Closed” signs hang in the windows.

Preparation can make or break a business.

Almost all commercial cooking generates grease, which is a huge fire hazard to its highly combustible nature.

Because of this, there is really no way to completely erase the threat of fire.

However, there are precautions you can take to decrease the likelihood of a potentially catastrophic event.

Proper duct and hood cleaning.

Exhaust hoods and ducts are designed to collect cooking vapors and residues. Poorly cleaned kitchen hoods and ducts account for 21 percent of all fires.

The National Fire Protection Association’s fire code NFPA 96 prescribes the minimum fire safety guidelines for cooking equipment.

Kitchen exhaust hoods, grease removal devices, exhaust duct-work and all other components involved in the capture, containment and control of grease-laden cooking residue.

The NFPA 96 standards are considered necessary to offer an proper level of protection against damage to property and loss of life.

Restaurant owners must install a UL300-approved automatic fixed fire suppression system.

To protect their ducts, grease removal systems, hoods and commercial cooking equipment such as deep fat fryers, woks, ranges, griddles and broilers.

This system must be serviced every six months.

In addition to complying with fire, health and building codes, a professionally installed kitchen exhaust hood system helps keep up a clean, safe environment.

Commercial cooking generates grease-laden air and other pollutants. An adequately designed kitchen exhaust system is vital to maintaining good airflow.

Kitchen hoods should be made of and supported by steel or stainless that meets minimum thickness requirements.

Other approved materials of equal strength and fire corrosion resistance may also be used.

NFPA 96 recommends that kitchen hood and duct cleaning frequency be based on an individual restaurant or bar’s cooking volume:

Monthly – For systems serving solid fuel cooking operations

Quarterly – For systems with high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling or wok cooking operations

Semi-annually – For systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations

Annually – For systems serving low-volume cooking

Grease filters are the first line of removal for grease-laden vapors.

Clean filters improve ventilation and cut the fire hazard significantly. Filters should be cleaned on a weekly basis for moderate- to high-volume cooking operations.

Empowering employees.

Employee fire safety and response training should include a fire prevention plan and an emergency action plan.

Is a powerful defense against fire threats and can mean the difference between a localized fire and an uncontrolled blaze.

Fire prevention plan.

In addition to basic fire training and an action plan, hands on training can offer a better understanding of fighting fires.

Employees should also be familiar with personal protective equipment and fire evacuation routes and should have real training in using a fire extinguisher.

A basic fire prevention plan should include.

A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage rules for hazardous materials, and potential ignition sources.

Procedures to control the accumulation of flammable and combustible waste material. Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment.

Names or job titles of employees responsible for maintaining equipment

Emergency action plan.

A well-developed emergency action plan should give employees with basic training on what to do in the event of a fire.

Employers should check the emergency action plan:

When the plan is developed, when the employee’s responsibilities or designated actions under the plan change, when there are updates to the plan.

While proper employee training and prevention efforts can substantially mitigate fire risks, use of flames, oil and grease makes it difficult to fully fireproof restaurants.

Instituting a prevention plan and maintaining a clean, properly cared for working space minimizes these hazards.