SPEARFISH | A fire in the basement of a Spearfish restaurant was quickly put out Monday evening, causing minimal damage.
According to Spearfish Fire Department Chief Travis Ladson, the page came out at approximately 6:05 p.m. Tuesday for a fire in the basement of Steerfish Steak and Smoke, 701 N. Fifth Street. When firefighters arrived, there was smoke coming out of the kitchen area's back door.
Ladson said a dryer unit caught fire and restaurant employees used a fire extinguisher to initially knock down the flames and Spearfish fire personnel fully put the flames out. The restaurant's kitchen oven hoods helped clear the building of smoke.
The fire was caused by greasy, oily rags that have been washed in the washing machine and then placed in the dryer, Ladson said.
"Sometimes greasy, oily rags need to be washed more than once," he said. "Be very careful when dealing with oily rags — even when they are wet, they can combust, given the right circumstances."
The fire chief said restaurant employees reacted very quickly and evacuated customers out of the building.
Ladson said there were no injuries and the damage was estimated to be approximately $3,500 for replacement of the dryer and cleaning.
Four fire engines, two command staff vehicles and 25 firefighters responded to the call.