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Mel's Diner sustains major damage in fire after kitchen grill malfunction

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 22:21:54-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — UPDATE: The fire reported at popular Lafayette restaurant Mel's Diner was apparently caused by a malfunction with a grill and caused major damage to the inside of the building, according to LFD Spokesperson Alton Trahan.

Lafayette firefighters began receiving calls around 5:40 p.m. regarding smoke coming from the restaurant on Johnston Street and were on scene within four minutes. Crews noticed heavy smoke inside the restaurant and discovered the kitchen in flames. The fire was extinguished within ten minutes.

The interior of Mel's sustained major fire damage.

Mel's closed around 2:00 p.m. today, and was empty at the time of the fire. Trahan said the last employee left the building an hour before the fire was reported. There were no injuries.

An investigation revealed the fire originated with a cooking grill in the kitchen that apparently malfunctioned.

Fire investigators obtained video which shows a small fire starting almost 15 minutes before smoke was reported by those driving on Johnston Street.

The fire was ruled an accident.

It appeared that nearby businesses had been evacuated as investigators were on scene. Lafayette Police closed down a portion of Johnston St., from Bertrand Drive to at least All Season's Nursery.

KATC's Chris Welty was broadcasting live from the Mel's Diner parking lot.

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