Rockne Roll/News-Register ##
McMinnville firefighters work to mop up the Wednesday fire at Ruby Tuesday on Highway 99W.
Rockne Roll/News-Register ## McMinnville firefighters work to mop up the Wednesday fire at Ruby Tuesday on Highway 99W.
Rockne Roll/News-Register ##
A firefighter hoses down an external cabinet at Ruby Tuesday in northeast McMinnville Wednesday afternoon after a fire forced the evacuation of the restaurant.
Rockne Roll/News-Register ## A firefighter hoses down an external cabinet at Ruby Tuesday in northeast McMinnville Wednesday afternoon after a fire forced the evacuation of the restaurant.
By News-Register staff • 

Fire damages Ruby Tuesday restaurant

A two-alarm fire caused about $60,000 damage to McMinnville's Ruby Tuesday restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

The smell of smoke forced employees and customers to evacuate the restaurant, located at 1101 N. Highway 99W, about 1 p.m. No one was injured.

When the first McMinnville Fire Department unit arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from a crawl space above the building's ceiling, according to Fire Chief Rich Leipfert.

"We had to search to find the source of the fire," he said. "It started in a utility room on the exterior of the building."

A gas-powered hot water heater, communication panel and supplies were contained in the 4-by-10-foot room.

"We got a knockdown on the fire in that room," Leipfert said. "But fire had extended through the ceiling and into a false wall that goes up past the edge of the roof."

Firefighters had to tear down ceiling material in the storage room, go onto the roof and cut a hole in an effort to gain full containment of the fire.

"We were lucky to keep it contained," Leipfert said. "The working (restaurant) area was untouched by fire."

The preliminary cause is combustibles that were stored too close to the water heater, according to Leipfert.

"We're not certain, but that's what we're taking a look at," he said. "The water heater (Bradford model) was installed 1 1/2 to two years ago."

The restaurant will be closed for an indefinite period of time. Power to the building had to be cut off. However, Leipfert said there were workers on scene by late Wednesday afternoon addressing electrical damage caused by the fire.

"There was a lot of smoke, so there will be some cleanup work, too," Leipfert said.

Eight pieces of equipment and 22 firefighters from McMinnville and Newberg responded. The Sheridan Fire District covered ambulance calls for McMinnville.

 

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