Jill's Place restaurant at 632 Santa Barbara Street sustained $75,000 worth of damage — $50,000 to the building and $25,000 to equipment and contents — during a fire early Friday morning.
According to City Fire spokesperson Gary Pitney, police officers on routine downtown patrol noticed smoke coming from the back of the single-story building at around 3:45 a.m. First responding crews broke down the back door and opened holes in the roof, encountering heavy smoke and zero visibility.
A number of engines were called in, and “due to the smoldering nature of the fire, a thermal imaging camera was utilized to locate the source of the smoke,” said Pitney. “The area of fire origin and the majority of the extensive damage occurred in the kitchen area with smoke damage throughout the business,” he went on.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation but appears to be accidental in nature, Pitney said.