Grease buildup caused fire at Wheaton mall

December 30, 2013

Fire officials said a buildup of grease in ductwork over the cooking area caused a fire Saturday at a popular Peruvian chicken restaurant at the Westfield Wheaton mall.

The mall in Montgomery County was evacuated after the fire broke out at the Crisp & Juicy Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant.

Scott Graham, assistant chief for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, said the fire did about $180,000 worth of damage. A firefighter suffered minor injuries in battling the blaze.

The fire began about 11 a.m. Saturday, and the mall had to be closed for several hours. It reopened just after 2:30 p.m. that day.

Graham said “grease has a tendency to build up in the ductwork” and that it is “not uncommon” for firefighters to “see this type of a fire in a restaurant.”

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Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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