An electrical fire in Beto’s restaurant near Weber State University caused approximately $20,000 in damages to the business on Thursday morning.
Shortly after 7 a.m., Ogden City firefighters responded to the fire in the Beto’s restaurant at the 3500 block of Harrison Boulevard, just northwest of campus. The fire occurred in the strip mall which contains seven businesses, although only Beto’s and one other business were affected, according to a press release from the Ogden City Fire Department.
The restaurant’s sprinkler system activated during the incident. Firefighters gained access to the south wall and found a fire burning, which they quickly extinguished. The fire department’s release said the fire caused approximately $20,000 in fire, smoke and water damage. Smoke also affected Little Caesar’s, the adjacent business in the strip mall. Both businesses were ventilated for smoke, and property owners were notified and responded to the scene.
Yanelie Cid is the Beto’s employee who opened the store in the morning.
“As soon as I opened the doors, smoke started coming out,” Cid said. “It was coming out from the ceiling, from under the soda machine. I was scared to turn on the stove or anything. It was just smoky; you couldn’t see anything.”
Another employee arrived, and the two employees called their manager. They decided to wait for a few minutes to see if the smoke would clear.
“It got worse, the smell got worse, it got stronger, so that’s when we decided to call 911,” Cid said.
Three people were evacuated from Beto’s, though there were no injuries. The fire department’s release cited this as an example of the benefits of having a sprinkler system installed in businesses. The early activation of the sprinkler system helped to suppress the fire and prevent the possibility of its spreading.
An employee at Little Caesar’s, who declined to be identified, said the fire caused them to “get started a little late,” but they were open for business.
Because of the fire and damages, Beto’s is closed. Cid said they are hoping to open as quickly as possible, though it will probably be a couple of weeks before it reopens.