Posted on March 22, 2013 at 8:45 AM
AUSTIN, Texas -- Firefighters say an electrical short sparked an overnight fire at the Baby Acapulco Restaurant in Northeast Austin Friday morning.
A 911 call came in to the Austin Fire Department around 3:30 a.m. The caller reported seeing smoke coming up from the restaurant. When firefighters arrived they found flames breaking through the neon electric sign at the front of the restaurant. Crews fought to contain the flames.
“[They] had to cut into the sign and actually the roof to extinguish the fire. [There was] no fire inside,” explained AFD Battalion Chief Palmer Buck.
Some of the fire stretched into part of the attic space at the restaurant. That's what firefighters say caused most of the damage inside the restaurant. The fire in the attic set off a sprinkler system that soaked part of the dining room.
The owners are now working to get everything cleaned up.
“They want to get in as soon as they can and hopefully get back into business as soon as they can,” said Btl. Chief Buck.
Firefighters set tarps out to help soak up some of the water. The owners are working to get power and gas service restored before opening for the day. It's unclear if that will happen in time for them to open during normal business hours or if there will be a delay.
In all, AFD reports that the fire caused $25,000 in property damage and $10,000 in content damage.
The owners told firefighters that a similar fire sparked at the restaurant several months ago. It was also determined to be accidental. Investigators traced the source to another electrical short in the neon sign.