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For a few minutes the town of Siletz thought it was losing a dining icon Tuesday evening as a report came into 9-1-1 that flames could be seen through the windows of the Little Chief Restaurant in downtown Siletz. Siletz fire fighters pulled up and saw the flames and black smoke wafting up through the restaurant’s flue. Partnering up with Toledo firefighters who also responded, Siletz volunteers had the fire out very quickly.
As it turned out, the fire erupted on the grill in the back. Fire investigators said that the owner, earlier in the day, had cleaned the grease filters above the grill. When he finished, Bill Peck said he left a piece of cardboard on the grill surface and then locked up the restaurant and left. But unknown to him, when he was cleaning out the overhead grease filters, something he stood on or his knee hit the grill “on” controls. So by the time he had been gone for a while, the cardboard caught fire, and the flames ignited residual grease in the flue to the outside which was smoking pretty heavily when fire units pulled up outside.
But rather than having to battle ferocious flames from a blazing structure fire, firefighters got inside to learn that the grill’s automatic “hood fire suppression system” had worked like a charm and had kept the fire from spreading beyond the grill. There was no major damage.
However, The Little Chief Restaurant may be closed for a day or two to get an inspection and to get the grill’s fire suppression system re-charged. But it’s quite obvious, the owners dodged a disaster Tuesday evening thanks to that system.