April 20, 2014

Elyria
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Firefighters extinguish restaurant blaze

ELYRIA — A small fire that broke out on a cooking unit inside Jumbo Buffet on Sunday caused a few thousand dollars of damage but inflicted no injuries to staff or customers, Elyria firefighters said.

CARL SULLENBERGER/CHRONICLE
Elyria firefighters work to put out a fire Sunday at the Jumbo Buffet on Griswold Road.

Firefighters were called to the Griswold Road restaurant at 3:43 p.m. when a grease fire on a stove began burning out of control, Elyria Assistant Fire Chief Ron Brlas said.

A fire-suppression unit above the stove appeared to activate as required when the fire erupted, but it was scarcely enough to crush the flames, Brlas said.

It appeared a handful of employees inside the restaurant tried dousing the grease flames with water, but to no avail — the flames only crept up above the fire-suppression system and into the ductwork, Brlas said.

Firefighters arrived within minutes, but the fire already was poking a few feet out of the roof’s ventilation unit “like a blow torch,” Brlas said.

As a thick column of dark smoke arose from the roof, firefighters attacked the smaller blaze inside the restaurant — quickly extinguishing it — while another team of firefighters used a ladder truck to climb atop the roof and attack the blaze from there.

All told, it took about 10 to 15 minutes to get the fire under control. Lorain firefighters were initially called to the scene to provide mutual aid but were canceled before they arrived.
 

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.