SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A popular Valley steakhouse had to close down after a huge fire Sunday that sent huge plumes of smoke into the air.
But now, after a few days, Fogo De Chao is already fixed up and back open to customers.
General Manager Merhawit Keleta credits the quick response of Scottsdale fire crews for keeping the massive fire at bay.
"The firefighters are incredible. They were here in, I think, less than five minutes, and how they were able to put that fire out, I think, really saved the entire restaurant. It did not affect the inside of the building at all, our guests and our team were not affected, but we did rush everybody out, you know, as a precaution," said Keleta.
Captain Dave Folio with the Scottsdale Fire Department said the roof fire was sparked by grease.
"They've got a grease trap for their kitchen inside, which it caught fire and moved into a larger grease trap on the roof," he explained.
Despite the size of the fire, Keleta says, surprisingly, there was little damage. She's grateful for that, along with the outpouring of support from the community.
"We've gotten text messages, calls from people checking on us to see how everybody is doing, so it’s just amazing to see that kind of support from our community," she said.
All 80 customers and staff were able to get out safely, and city inspectors cleared the restaurant to reopen.
"All the food that was in the dining room was discarded, and the meats in the back were also thrown out; there was some loss; however, that's nothing compared to being able to get everyone out safely," Keleta said.
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