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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Fire at downtown Spokane restaurant ‘was a big, flamey mess’

Steelhead Bar & Grille employee hospitalized with minor injuries

A downtown Spokane restaurant was forced to close Wednesday after an overheating kitchen exhaust fan sent flames crawling up the side of the building. An employee taking a smoke break outside the Steelhead Bar & Grille called 911 after spotting the fire around 1:30 p.m. Another employee tripped while trying to use a fire extinguisher and was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center with some bruised ribs and possibly some minor burns on his face. Two ladder trucks and four engines from the Spokane Fire Department responded to the building at 218 N. Howard St. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire, but not before it filled the kitchen with thick smoke and worried nearby patrons and employees. “It was a big, flamey mess,” said Carly Hall, a barista at next-door Atticus Coffee & Gifts, who grabbed a garden hose from the outdoor patio and sent away all of the shop’s customers. Steelhead manager Stacey Dunn said the fire started when parts of the exhaust fan fell on a stack of cardboard and on an air conditioner behind the restaurant. Health inspectors were surveying the kitchen, which sustained almost no damage, and insurance should cover the rest, Dunn said. “Hopefully, we’ll be open tomorrow.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the fire entered the Steelhead kitchen.