Electrical fire damages restaurant

An electrical fire damaged the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Columbus.

Columbus firefighters were sent to the restaurant at 2508 Herman Darlage at about 11:15 a.m. Sunday after employees smelled smoke inside the building and called 911, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Restaurant manager Jarrod Hoye told firefighters that there were about 25 employees at the restaurant when it opened at 11 a.m., Wilson said. Customers and employees evacuated the building, Hoye said.

Back-of-house manager Aaron Gill told firefighters that the issue was discovered after the lights flickered inside the building. Gill said he went to the electrical panel and smelled smoke but there was no visible fire inside the building. About half of the building lost power, Gill said.

Firefighters found a small fire on the outside of the building near the electrical service supply. Crews removed about eight feet of fencing to access the area. Firefighters used a dry chemical extinguisher to put out the fire, Wilson said.

Duke Energy employees told firefighters they would repair the exterior power supply to try to restore power to the building, but some interior repairs might be needed if they were not successful.

There were no injuries and damage was estimated at $500, Wilson said. Firefighters said restaurant employees did not know when the facility would reopen.