Fire in vent hood closes Campustown restaurant

Fire in vent hood closes Campustown restaurant

CHAMPAIGN  - A grease fire on a stove caused a Campustown restaurant to close Saturday.

Champaign firefighters were called to a five-story building at 410 E. Green St. at 4:17 p.m. for a report of smoke coming from the building.

Lt. John Hocking said there was a grease fire on a stove at the Empire Chinese Restaurant that was quickly put out by an automatic sprinkler system.

However, the fire extended into the vent hood and was burning grease in it, which caused smoke to come out the building behind the restaurant sign, he said.

Westbound Green Street between Fourth and Sixth streets was closed while firefighters took care of the fire. They were there until about 6 p.m.

There are apartments in the building, which is on the north side of Green Street. Residents were evacuated for a short while but Hocking said there was only a light haze on the floors above and no fire damage. 

The restaurant is on the ground level. It had to be closed Saturday until inspectors from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District could check out the damage and declare it able to operate.

A fire investigator was looking further into the cause and the damage.

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