Smoky Fire Clears Eastside Restaurant; No Injuries
Madison firefighters were called to the 3500 block of East Washington Ave. at 5:21 this evening when smoke began to fill a restaurant, and flames were seen on the roof.
Engine Company 8 and Ladder 8 could see a column of smoke from blocks away as they approached the Prime Quarter Restaurant. Restaurant guests and staff were evacuating as firefighters arrived on scene. Fire was present on the roof at the side of the building. Crews accessed the roof and entered the restaurant to search for the source of the fire. Ladder 8 initially hit the roof flames with a water extinguisher to mitigate the fire, following up with a 1 ¾ inch hoseline to extinguish the exterior fire. Engine 8 advanced a 1 ¾ inch hoseline interior to cool the area and any remaining hot spots. The fire was knocked down at 5:43 p.m.
The manager of the restaurant says she and another employee first noticed smoke in the restaurant that they thought was coming from one of the grills. She exited the restaurant to examine the exterior, saw the flames on the roof and called 911. The staff of 23 immediately began evacuating the 60 guests who were in the building.
Inbound East Washington Ave. was briefly closed between Stoughton Rd. and Fair Oaks during firefighting operations. The road was reopened shortly after 6 p.m.
The Madison/Dane County Health Inspector was called to the scene to determine when the restaurant can be reopened. Staff remained to begin clean-up.
A Madison fire investigator was called to the scene. Damages are estimated at $20,000. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation. The restaurant had smoke damage within the dining area. Fire damage was contained to the area of origin above the grill.