Firefighters called to restaurants

BROOKINGS – Some calls are fire, some are all smoke; the Brookings Fire Department got both on Wednesday with a malfunctioning restaurant smoker and a car fire.

The first one was an early morning wake-up call at 4:28 a.m. Wednesday for 621 32nd Ave., Fire Chief Darrell Hartmann said.

There was no fire at Whiskey Creek, “just the smoke from the smoker filled up the structure,” Hartmann said.

The keyholder was there when Hartmann pulled up, so “we worked on evacuating all the smoke and one of our firefighters looked at the unit, was trying to figure out what was wrong.

“Once all the smoke was out, we returned it back to the manager and we left,” Hartmann said.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 5:21 a.m.

That evening, the fire department was called to a car fire at Applebee’s. When Hartmann arrived, he found “a vehicle that had smoke and light fire rolling from the dash on the interior of the car.”

The owner was there and had keys to unlock the Chevy Trailblazer.

“The fire had originated in the passenger front dash area of the vehicle,” Hartmann said. “There’s a lot of electrical down in that area, too. And it was so far gone, it was pretty much impossible to pinpoint exactly what (caused the fire).”

“We put the fire out, kind of cleaned it up. It was pretty uneventful,” Hartmann said.

No one was injured, he added. He figured the vehicle will probably be declared a total loss.