BROOKLYN — A Bed-Stuy restaurant will have to temporarily close its doors after a fire broke out in the establishment’s duct work Tuesday afternoon, FDNY officials said.
The fire started just after 11:30 a.m. at Smokey Island Grille, a Jamaican restaurant at Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue, according to fire officials.
Conrad Hunter, who owns the restaurant with his four siblings, was there with his employees when the fire started.
“My chef was in the kitchen when he smelled a funny smell and he realized it wasn’t food,” Hunter said.
Hunter, 41, said they thought it might have been cheese that ran over in the oven, but when they realized it was a fire, they immediately called 911.
To get to the source of the fire, officials had to rip apart the restaurant's kitchen, which has been in Bed-Stuy for five years.
“Unfortunately we had to do some damage to get out the fire, but it’s really minimal compared to what would have happened,” battalion chief George Johnson said. “The whole building would have burned down if we didn’t do what we did.”
The three-story building was evacuated and eastbound Fulton Street was shut down for two hours between Nostrand Avenue and Arlington Place as firefighters put out the flames.
No one was injured in the small blaze, which was under control by 1:30 p.m., according to Johnson.
Hunter said the restaurant will have to close down until he and his siblings figure out how they will repair the damaged kitchen.
“We will all sit down and see where do we go from here,” Hunter said.
In the meantime, the family gave community members free food that had been made Tuesday before the fire started.
“They have good food over here,” said 54-year-old Jeffrey Mallet, who was shopping in the neighborhood when he noticed fire trucks outside the restaurant. “Why waste it?”