Updated: Jesus restaurant still closed after fire

 

A stove fire caused minor damage at Jesus restaurant, and the owners hope to reopen for business soon. 

Firefighters responded to the fire at 93 East Third St. about 10:35 p.m. Thursday, according to Santa Clara County Fire Battalion Chief Rich Salazar. 

Smoke was billowing out the roof of the building when crews arrived. Firefighters went inside and found the fire on the kitchen stove at Jesus restaurant. 

The building’s emergency sprinkler system “kept it in check” before the fire department arrived, allowing only minor damage that was mostly confined to the stove itself, Salazar said. 

The fire was caused by burning grease on the stove, Salazar said. An employee of the restaurant left a burner on and the grease “got super heated” until it resulted in heavy smoke which was detected by the sprinkler system. 

The fire was under control within 15 minutes after firefighters arrived, Salazar said. 

The fire started “where all the grease piles up,” according to Evelyn Gomez, the restaurant’s owner’s daughter. She confirmed that “maybe the stove wasn’t turned off correctly,” and left unattended the heating grease combusted. 

It was later determined that the stove was left in the “on” position, according to a press release from the Santa Clara County fire department. 

Gomez and other family members were at the restaurant Friday cleaning up the mess caused by the fire and the efforts to extinguish it. 

Gomez described the damage as “very minor.” The restaurant was closed at the time, and all the employees had left. 

They hoped to reopen by Saturday if they pass a follow-up inspection, Gomez said, but calls to the restuarant Monday went unanswered and the message recorded Sunday said, “Hopefully we will reopen tomorrow (Monday).” The restaurant did not yet appear to be open Monday. 

“It was such a scary thing because our family all depends on this restaurant,” which has been owned by the same family for 22 years, Gomez said. 

Salazar said the fire resulted in about $5,000 worth of damage, mostly in the kitchen. 

Jesus restaurant is one occupant of the building, a two-story structure that has several tenants. The fire did not spread to any other tenants, but some smoke did, according to Salazar. 

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