A midday fire in a restaurant kitchen of a beachfront hotel in Santa Monica Saturday, September 24th, forced some guests to evacuate, but no one was injured, Santa Monica fire officials said.
The fire broke out at about noon at Pedals, a beachfront restaurant in Shutters on the Beach hotel, 1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Fire Battalion Chief Carl Bjerke said 24 Santa Monica firefighters responded to the hotel at 12:07 p.m. and initially saw the fire coming from the Pedals kitchen.
“We saw what appeared to be an active fire with dark, black smoke coming from the kitchen area,” Bjerke said.
The fire apparently started in the kitchen and spread through the ventilation system up to the roof, creating “a lot of smoke,” he said.
Once firefighters realized the fire was in the ventilation system, they contained the fire through a “coordinated attack” with firefighters on the roof and in the kitchen, Bjerke said.
Firefighters took about an hour and a half to fully extinguish the fire, he said.
Fire officials have estimated the damage from the fire to be approximately $250,000.
Firefighters have classified the fire as a “standard hood/ventilation system fire” that was most likely caused by a cooking material in the kitchen, Bjerke said.
The fire did not appear to be suspicious, he said.
Henry Birmele, Shutters on the Beach general manager, said lobby and restaurant patrons were evacuated from the hotel after fire alarms sounded and they returned shortly after the fire was extinguished.
Most hotel guests in rooms were not forced to evacuate.
The fire also forced temporary closure of Pedals and another hotel restaurant, One Pico. One Pico reopened Monday, September 26th.
Hotel employees are unsure when Pedals will reopen but hope to have the restaurant back in service as soon as possible, Birmele said.
The work of the Santa Monica firefighters prevented any physical or visual damage to the kitchen, he said.
“They were incredible,” Birmele said. “They were sensitive to our operations and they made sure everything was safe and sound.”