The cause of the fire that nearly destroyed local Denny’s remains undetermined at the time of publishing.
Initial reports rumored arson; however, Williams Fire Chief, Jeff Gilbert, commented that the fire is no longer being investigated as suspicious or as an arson-related fire.
“One of the front doors was left open; however, an employee was unsure if she locked door when she left,” said Gilbert.
At approximately 3:47 AM, on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, a truck driver parked along the southbound on-ramp of Interstate 5, noticed a small of smoke in the air and a smoke-like haze coming from the Denny’s building.
“When we arrived on the scene, no flames were present at the time,” said Gilbert.
However, the building was full of smoke.
“When we opened the side door to gain access to the building, the smoke was thick and clear to the floor,” said Gilbert.
Firefighters entered the building and were unable to find the source of the fire.
“Firefighters cut air vents into the roof, helping to clear the smoke from the building with the help of fans,” said Gilbert, “the incident was under control in about 20 minutes.”
“The restaurant suffered severe heat damage,” said Gilbert, “the entire kitchen is gutted, and the rest of the building suffered significant damage.”
Gilbert hypothesized that due to the airtight building, the fire most likely ran out of oxygen and was unable to extend beyond its ignition point, and therefore it generated extreme heat and lots of smoke.
No one was injured as a result of this fire.
The Williams Denny’s location is typically open 24 hours; however, the Williams restaurant began closing at 11:00 PM earlier this year.
The Williams Denny’s Restaurant was built sometime in the 1970’s.
Estimated damages exceed $200,000.