Thursday, December 24, 2009
Fire forces Fiesta Grill evacuation
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–A hard-to-reach fire forced the shutdown of a new Mabank restaurant near 5 p.m. Dec. 17.
The Fiesta Grill restaurant, located on S. Third Street (State Highway 198), had been experiencing flickering lights and loss of power before an electrician discovered smoke in the attic above the kitchen.
“It was up by the vent-a-hood in the insulation,” Mabank Fire Marshal Mat Ewaskiw said. “There was smoke in the attic when we got here.”
He explained the fire was located in the narrow angle between the roof edge and the ceiling.
“It’s in a hard spot to get to,” he said.
The restaurant was evacuated, he added.
Ewaskiw narrowly escaped injury when he fell through the restaurant ceiling to the kitchen floor while seeking the cause of the fire, and still was covered in sawdust and insulation shavings when he spoke to reporters.
Kemp and Gun Barrel City firefighters joined Mabank firemen, as per long-standing mutual aid agreements, bringing the total response to eight pieces of apparatus and approximately 40 firefighters.
The number of personnel on hand made it possible to quickly shift new firefighters into position in the confined attic space.
It didn’t take long to get the small blaze under control, as firefighters cleared the scene within 90 minutes, according to Mabank Fire Chief Ricky Myrick.
With the reports of electrical disturbances prior to the discovery of the fire, it’s likely that was the cause, Myrick noted.
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