Fire that Damaged Panama City Restaurant Ruled Accidental - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Fire that Damaged Panama City Restaurant Ruled Accidental

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The Panama City Fire Department has released the cause of the fire that damaged a Panama City restaurant on Friday.

According to the Panama City Fire Department, the fire was caused by combustible materials that had come into contact with a pilot light fueling a two-burner gas grill in the restaurant. The State Fire Marshal's Office and the Panama City Fire Department investigated the cause of the fire.

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Here is the press release from the Panama City Fire Department:

On Friday morning, April 4, 2014, the Panama City Fire Department responded to a 2nd alarm structure fire at Newk's Restaurant., located at 676 W. 23rd St.

The alarm was received at 6:58 a.m. with the first arriving apparatus arriving at 7:01 a.m.  The fire was brought under control at 8:16 a.m.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered fire and heavy smoke coming from the structure.  Smoke had spread throughout different businesses in the plaza but the fire was contained to the kitchen area of Newk's.  All businesses in the plaza were evacuated. 

The fire was investigated by the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Panama City Fire Department. 

The cause of the fire was determined to be combustible materials that had come into contact with a pilot light fueling a two burner gas grill. No injuries resulted from this fire.

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Emergency crews respond to the scene of a fire at a popular Panama City restaurant on Friday morning.

According to Panama City Fire Department Chief Alex Baird, they received an alarm concerning a fire and heavy smoke at Newk's Express Cafe on 23rd Street in the Publix shopping center at 7 a.m. Upon arrival, there were flames and heavy smoke.

With the help of the 18 firefighters who responded, the fire was put out, but the smoke traveled through the attic. That area is shared by multiples stores in the shopping center, which led to the evacuation of Publix as a precaution. Baird said they still are not sure if the smoke spread to the attic area of other stores because they are not open yet.

Firefighters are trying to clear out the smoke and will continue to monitor it.

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