LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Lafayette firefighters worked to put out a blaze at a local Pizza Hut franchise early Sunday morning.

The commercial fire was reported around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, and firefighters arrived to find that flames were venting through the building's roof.

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Their crews entered the building and discovered the fire spreading in a space just above the ceiling. Firefighters battled the fire for about half an hour, a statement explained, before getting it under control. The building sustained heavy fire damage.

However, it wasn't the fire time the crew was called out to the building.

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"Fire crews responded to Pizza Hut earlier at 9:14 pm to a report of smoke coming from air conditioning vents," a department press release stated. "The employees called 911 to report the smell and light haze in the business. Emergency crews examined the HVAC system and turned the power off to one of the units. The restaurant was cleared."

Fire Safety In Restaurants

Accidents at restaurants can always happen, but there are plenty of ways that buildings can keep those accidents to a minimum.

Ensuring fire safety in a restaurant is crucial for the well-being of customers, staff, and the establishment itself. First and foremost, regularly inspect and maintain all fire detection and suppression systems, including smoke alarms, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers. Conduct routine staff training on emergency procedures, emphasizing evacuation routes and the proper use of fire extinguishers.

Maintain a clutter-free environment by regularly cleaning and organizing kitchen areas. Ensure that cooking equipment is in good working order and regularly serviced. Avoid overloading electrical outlets and keep flammable materials away from heat sources.

Implement strict protocols for the storage and disposal of flammable materials, such as cooking oils and cleaning agents. Regularly inspect and clean ventilation systems to prevent grease buildup, a common cause of kitchen fires.

Have a designated smoking area away from the building, and enforce a strict no-smoking policy in kitchen and storage areas. You should also regularly check and maintain all gas lines and equipment.

Institute a routine fire drill schedule to ensure all staff are familiar with emergency procedures.

Lastly, stay informed about local fire safety regulations and codes, and make necessary updates to the restaurant's safety measures accordingly. Prioritizing these measures can significantly reduce the risk of fires and promote a safe dining environment.

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