Kitchen fire quickly contained

HARRISON – 

A fire at D’ Carbon, a Peruvian barbecue restaurant at 506 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. North, last Monday emptied the eatery, along with apartments above.

No injuries were reported and the five tenants temporarily displaced from two apartments known to be occupied were allowed back in after the fire was doused and the building inspected by construction code officials.

Harrison Fire Capt. Joseph Lang, the incident commander, said the alarm of fire came in at 4:46 p.m. and the first unit to arrive, Ladder Co. 1, got to the scene two minutes later. Engine Co. 3 quickly followed, he added.

Lang said that kitchen staff had been cooking and, when firefighters arrived, they found evidence of a “grease fire — fire was coming off the charbroil pit under the hood. It got into the duct work and run up through the exterior wall up to the roof.”

Inside the kitchen, some firefighters dumped the fire suppression system under the hood, while others popped rooftop vents, allowing the flames and smoke to come up and flow out, thereby preventing pressure from the heat from building up below, explained Lang and Fire Director Harold Stahl.

Kearny Fire Department sent an engine and deputy chief’s vehicle to provide stand-by coverage.

By 5:05 p.m., the fire was declared under control, Lang said.

There was no structural damage to the building, he said.

The HFD had responded to two previous fires at this location, both also with the fire originating in the cooking stack, likely from a heavy grease build-up, Stahl said.

However, Stahl said HFD records showed that the restaurant owners had complied with a state regulation calling for semi-annual cleanings of their cooking apparatus.

“Everything was in order as far as their paperwork was concerned,” he said, and no violations were issued.

Harrison Fire Official George Kondek did a followup inspection of the restaurant last week but, as of press time, he could not be reached to learn his assessment of the situation.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff