Charleston, SC (February 5, 2017): The Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch Center received a 911 call at approximately 9:41 AM reporting smoke and fire coming from the roof of the T-Bonz Grill and Bar on N. Market Street in downtown Charleston. Emergency responders from Charleston, James Island, and Saint Andrews Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS, and Charleston Police Department were dispatched to the scene and arrived in less than two minutes. The initial arriving firefighters reported smoke coming from the roof of the two story restaurant and additional firefighting resources were dispatched to the scene.
Firefighters coordinated an aggressive offensive fire attack and searched the building. Additional personnel quickly entered the surrounding buildings to continue evacuations and search for any fire that may have spread to the adjacent businesses. Firefighters quickly determined there was a fire in the kitchen and in the void spaces and that the fire had spread to the roof. The void space was well involved with fire and crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze and limit further damage to the restaurant and to adjacent properties.
“The downtown corridor presents a unique fire problem due to the historic nature of the buildings, their construction, and the close proximity of the adjacent properties,” said Fire Chief Karen Brack. “All of these circumstances create a unique challenge for our firefighters. Once the emergency occurs we must provide a rapid response, with adequate resources, in order to help ensure a positive outcome. In this case, the fire was contained to the building of origin and the overall damage to the property was minimized due to the quick actions of our team. Our team expands beyond just the Charleston Fire Department; it includes our auto aide partners, our partners at Charleston County EMS, and the members of the Charleston Police Department who all worked together to ensure the best possible outcome during this emergency. ”
Investigators from the Fire Marshal Division Fire Investigation Team responded to the scene and continue to work with the business to determine the sequence of events that led to the fire. The restaurant was staffed at the time of the incident and employees reported witnessing a fire in the kitchen area. The information from the initial investigation revealed the fire originated in the area of the kitchen exhaust system and may have spread to combustible construction materials in the void space. Employees attempted to suppress the visible fire but the fire had already extended into the void space. The specific cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The fire damage appears to have been contained to the T-Bonz Grill and Bar and no injuries were reported as a result of this incident. The Charleston Fire Department would like offer general reminders to our residents and the business community:
-Call 911 immediately – do not delay. Even when you believe you have extinguished an uncontrolled fire, call the fire department so we be sure.
-Prepare and practice your escape plans – at home and at work.
-During a fire event, exit to call 911 and do not reenter after you escape.