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Lincoln Restaurant Gutted by Fire

Updated: Wednesday, May 28 2014, 12:54 PM CDT

LINCOLN -- In a matter of hours, the owners of a Lincoln restaurant lost their business and their home. A fire ripped Chopsticks restaurant just after 10 Monday night

The contractor who was cleaning up what is left of the building Tuesday said its interior was more of less gutted. Once the restaurant was engulfed, flames spread to the next space in the strip mall. Fortunately it was unoccupied at the time.

Five different fire departments fought back flames. Authorities say the second level of the now-charred building used to be the business owners' home. Everyone got out ok, but the building is now uninhabitable.

A few doors down from the damage, a pet shop owner recalled her panic when the flames started to spread.

"I was a mess, it was just awful. I was...that was just all I could think about was all of the critters," Sherry Cast said.

Cast says authorities on scene let her in the building to move some of the pets outside. Some even helped carry cages. Firefighters were able to control the flames before they spread to the pet shop.

Unfortunately putting out the blaze was more difficult. The restaurant was closed for remodeling when the fire started, making it difficult to navigate the smoke-filled space.

"The smoke conditions were just extreme heavy smoke," Lincoln Fire Chief Mark Miller said.

Miller says early investigations suggest the fire was accidental, and started in the kitchen. That area was being targeted in the remodel.

"The issue that we had been dealing with were updating their fire hood systems in the kitchens and the fire alarm systems, just making sure that's all up to par," Miller said.

Only two spaces at the end of the property sustained damage.

Still, other business owners in the strip mall want to know what's going to happen next with the building so heavily damaged.

We talked to an officer manager, Sharon Pierce, for the company that owns the strip mall.

"The other tenants are asking what about us? And I really have no information for them," Pierce said.

The owners of the strip mall are still waiting on word from
the insurance adjuster about the future of the building. The contractor
clearing glass and boarding up windows Tuesday said he’s hesitant to believe the structure can be salvaged.

Lincoln Restaurant Gutted by Fire

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