Saline firefighters extinguished a blaze at Smoke BBQ in downtown Saline Saturday night, but not before smoke and water caused considerable damage.
Firefighters were dispatched to the restaurant at 11:25 p.m. with reports of flames showing through the ceiling. But when they arrived, the location of the fire wasn't easily apparent.
“The fire was contained in a utility closet in the back of the restaurant. Once we found it, we knocked it down fast,” Fire Chief Craig Hoeft said.
Hoeft said firefighters evacuated residents in the second story apartments.
There were no injuries. Saline Police assisted at the scene and Huron Valley Ambulance paramedics were present.
The cause of the blaze was undetermined as of 12:45 a.m. Firefighter Kevin Cornell arrived at around 12:30 to conduct an investigation.
Owner Megan McCully was distraught by the damage.
“I don’t know what to say. I have insurance. We’ll see what it covers,” said McCully, who rents the building from Bill Kinley. “(Clean up) is going to be a lot of work.”
McCully said the restaurant closed at 8 p.m. and employees left for the night around 8:30 p.m.
McCully has been owner of a restaurant at the location since 2012. In 2014, the Saline Downtown Diner changed its name to Smoke BBQ and the breakfast and lunch restaurant became a barbecue restaurant.