Updated: Fire at restaurant caused by crew working on roof

Updated: Fire at restaurant caused by crew working on roof

HOOPESTON — Officials said a fire that damaged a popular Hoopeston eatery on Friday morning was accidentally started by a crew working on the roof.

Firefighters were called to Henning's Root Beer Stand, 411 S. Dixie Highway, at 9:45 a.m. When they arrived, flames were visible in two areas of the roof, according to Hoopeston fire Chief Cliff Crabtree.

Crabtree said the restaurant, which opens around 5:30 a.m., was occupied with employees and patrons at the time. However, everyone escaped, and no one was injured in the incident.

"They were making some repairs to the roof, and they caught the roof on fire," Crabtree said of the apparent cause.

He said fire crews had the blaze knocked down in about 10 to 15 minutes. The fire was contained to the roof, although the restaurant sustained smoke and water damage. Damage estimates weren't available on Friday. "They'll probably be (closed) about a week," Crabtree estimated. However, he added, one of the owners said traditionally, the Memorial Day weekend is the root beer stand's busiest weekend of the year.

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