Oil fire damages Red Maple Chinese Restaurant

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A West Valley City Chinese restaurant was nearly destroyed by an accidental oil fire, but firefighters were able to save some of the building late Wednesday afternoon.

Crews closed Redwood Road from 3200 South to 3500 South while they fought the blaze that began at the Red Maple Chinese Restaurant at 3361 S. Redwood Road at about 4 p.m.. The road wasn't reopened until about 7 p.m.

There were no injuries, but West Valley City Fire Marshal Bob Fitzgerald said the blaze took a couple hours to fight and did about $500,000 in damage.

"We had a lot of smoke coming out of the kitchen area and doors," Fitzgerald said.

It was hot oil overheating that caused the blaze, Fitzgerald said. Chefs were cooking frozen chicken feet in the deep fat fryer and the oil became too hot and started the kitchen area on fire. The hood sprinkler system over the stove was "overwhelmed" by the fire, which continued to burn out of control, Fitzgerald said.

By 7 p.m., firefighters were still mopping up and putting out hot spots. The blaze also damaged the attic. The kitchen was destroyed while the entire building has smoke damage and the integrity of the roof is in question.

Cimaron Neugebauer