Crews fight fire at Super Buffet in La Crosse

Fire officials say grease fire started on unattended stove top

Published On: May 01 2013 04:33:44 PM CDT   Updated On: May 01 2013 10:47:35 PM CDT
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Crews fought a fire at Super Buffet, 206 Copeland Avenue in La Crosse, Wednesday afternoon.

The fire call came in at about 4:20 p.m.

Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland says Fire Station #2 is located just down the block from the restaurant so crews were on scene within minutes. He says they were able to put out the fire relatively quickly.

When crews arrived, heavy smoke and flames were coming from the roof of the restaurant.

"The ventilation fans were billowing out huge amounts of smoke and you actually couldn't even see more than 30 feet on Rose Street, it was so bad that traffic had to slow down, it was like a dense fog for a while," said Bronson Hurt who witnessed the fire.

Chief Cleveland says the restaurant is an older building and there were power lines nearby which presented some challenges for firefighters.  As of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, some firefighters were still on scene making sure there wasn't any fire hidden in the roof.

"There's a lot of hidden spaces up in the attic areas and in those voids that we have to make sure that the fire is completely out, otherwise we run the risk of a re-kindle later on," said Chief Cleveland.

Investigators say the fire started from grease on an unattended stove top and spread up the wall and onto the roof. The building has moderate damage.

The owner of the Super Buffet told News 8 only one customer was inside of the building at the time of the fire and everyone was able to make it out safely.

There are no reports of injuries.

Twenty-three firefighters were on scene, along with Xcel Energy and La Crosse police.

Stay with News 8 and News8000.com as more information becomes available.