FORT WORTH, TX - Barbeque pit fire damages structure in Stockyards
Fire investigators determined the fire at Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar B Que was caused when the cooking fire in one of the large pits got out of control. Damages are estimated at $20,000 to the structure and contents. No injuries were reported.
The Fire Department was dispatched at 3:30 p.m. today after a cook at the restaurant noticed the temperature in one of the pits was about 100 degrees above normal. When he looked into the pit, he saw flames and attempted several times to extinguish the fire. The fire kept growing and the worker called 911.
There were approximately 20 people, customers and staff, in the building at the time the 911 call was made. All persons evacuated the building safely.
35 personnel on 14 firefighting and support units were dispatched to the call. Fire crews determined that the fire extended into the attic space near the pit and experienced some difficulty accessing it. Crews had to pull down some of the ceiling inside the restaurant to check for extension.
General manager Jake Rogers reported that it is normal procedure for his staff to extinguish small grease fires that normally occur in the pits when they are cooking. He did not know why this particular fire got out of control. He also stated that he was not sure how long it would take to get the business open, but hoped it wouldn't take long before they could start serving their customers again.
The restaurant is one of the newer businesses in the Stockyards, having been open for about 3 years. No other buildings or structures were threatened during this incident.