Lebanon Fire District
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News Release
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Kitchen Fire Strikes Popular Lebanon Breakfast Restaurant (Photo) - 12/06/17

An early morning fire halted operations at Kevin's Café in Lebanon, 40 W. Maple Street, on Wednesday morning. The fire was contained to the stove top thanks to the quick response of the cook on duty and crews from the Lebanon Fire District.

As an employee was preparing gravy for the morning breakfast crowd she noticed a small fire had started beneath the burners of the stove top. An attempt was made to snuff the fire with salt but it was growing quickly and beginning to climb the back wall into the hood system. A fire extinguisher was used but it became clear that the fire was growing too large and the employee evacuated the building while dialing 911.

An engine, truck company, medic unit, and Battalion Chief were dispatched at 5:13 a.m. The first arriving unit reported light smoke from the structure and the truck company laddered the roof to check for extension. Firefighters stretched lines into the restaurant and extinguished the fire before continuing to check for hot spots and extension. There were no civilian injuries and damage was limited to the stove and backsplash, with some minor smoke and water damage.

The hood suppression system did not activate, and LFD Division Chief Jason Bolen states that this is likely because of the extinguisher use coupled with the quick response from Lebanon firefighters. LFD's investigation of the fire revealed that grease had been built up beneath the gas burners and was ignited by the burners flame. There was enough grease accumulation on the stove top and backsplash to allow the fire to quickly spread up towards the hood system.

Bolen stressed that it is critical for commercial kitchens to properly maintain their fire suppression systems and have their hoods professionally cleaned at least every 6 months, or every 3 months for kitchens with heavy frying or extended hours. The Lebanon Fire District's Fire & Life Safety Division tracks all commercial fire suppression system maintenance and hood cleanings to ensure compliance with the Oregon Fire Code's requirements. Bolen stated that in this case the hood system was properly charged and the hood was due for its scheduled cleaning next month. All fire extinguishers were also properly maintained within the restaurant.

Failure to maintain commercial services can lead to fines or service fees from fire authorities, and restaurant owners who have questions about code requirements are encouraged to contact the fire district for more information. The Lebanon Fire District also offers free fire extinguisher training to businesses and the public. Contact Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Foster to schedule a class.

*** For HD photos of this and other LFD incidents, please follow the Lebanon Fire District Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LebanonFireDistrict/?ref=bookmarks ***

*** For updates on large scale incidents within the Lebanon Fire District, follow us on Twitter: @LebanonFD ***

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