Fire Damages Lone Star Steakhouse in Effingham

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Published on December 21 2013 2:00 am
Written by Wayne Moran

A Friday evening fire damaged Lone Star Steakhouse in Effingham, closing the restaurant and doing minor damage to the building.

The Effingham Fire Department was called out to the restaurant at about 6:45pm, after employees smelled smoke in the kitchen. We spoke with manager Adam Hartke on the scene who told us, "We smelled smoke in the kitchen, more than what we normally smell just by cooking." Hartke and his kitchen manager searched the back of the facility and didn't find any evidence of fire. They moved outside, and saw fire coming from the peak of the roof.

Effingham Fire Chief Joe Holomy told us the fire is suspected to have started in an outdoor lighting fixture, and that crews upgraded the call to a Full Still en route as flames were visible from the roof. He added that the restaurant had a full house and was being evacuated as fire crews arrived.

Holomy said damage was contained to the roof and attic of the restaurant, with some water damage confined to the back of the building.

The Effingham County Health Department had responded to the scene as well, in order to determine the safety of being able to reopen the facility. Employees were busy cleaning the restaurant at about 8pm and Hartke told us they hope to be open Saturday as normal.

One employee was taken to St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation.