Patrons were cleared from The Royal Fork restaurant in the Dakota Square Mall area of Minot Tuesday afternoon when employees noticed smoke coming from the attic over the food preparation area.
Once patrons and staff were cleared management called the Minot Fire Department and alerted them to what was going on. A manager also shut off all the power and water into the building as a precaution, according to Battalion Chief John Hocking.
Fire crews arrived at the scene by 2:40 p.m.
Fire trucks and other response vehicles surrounded The Royal Fork, a buffet restaurant located in the Dakota Square Mall area of Minot, Tuesday afternoon to check on smoke in the attic of the building. Upon noticing the smoke, management immediately vacated the building.
"Upon our arrival we went in to investigate and did, indeed, find some smoke at the ceiling level and sent men up into the attic to find the exact nature of the problem," Hocking said in a phone interview.
The problem, he said, was that some wiring had short-circuited along a PEX water pipeline in the ceiling, burning a hole through it and causing nearby insulation to smolder, causing a light haze of smoke that quickly dissipated from the area after the insulation was removed from the building.
"The damage was limited to the damaged section to that plastic pipe and to the heat tape itself so there wasn't any fire damage to the inside of the building," Hocking said. "Smoke damage was confined mainly to the attic."
Still, firefighters were at the scene until 4:56 p.m.
"Turned it back over at Royal Fork's management and they had already called an electrician and a plumber to take care of the problem," Hocking said.
He said that there is no structural damage to the building following the small fire and any smoke damage is confined mainly to the attic, although the smoke never became thick there. Also, a hole was cut through the sheet rock in the ceiling of the kitchen preparation area.
Representatives of the restaurant said that there are just a few health and safety checks to do and they expect the store to be open for business again on Thursday.