Cherry Creek Grill in Sioux Falls has been basking in the glow of a new remodeling project, but that work almost went up in flames.
Restaurant owner Charlie Kneip thought his trip to California would offer some rest and relaxation, but not long after his plane touched the ground, a string of phone messages had him returning back to Sioux Falls in a panic.
"The first message was that there was a fire at Cherry Creek, and I had no idea how serious it was, and to everybody, it sounded very serious. My first imagination was that we lost everything," Kneip said.
Flames were coming out of the roof when firefighters arrived on the scene Sunday morning. When Kneip finally reached the restaurant, he was happy to only find minor damage caused by a problem in an exhaust fan above the kitchen.
"And that's on the roof. It malfunctioned and it started a fire on the roof and kind of worked its way down the chute," Kneip said.
Luckily, a safety system activated when the temperature reached an elevated level, releasing a liquid that put out the fire in the kitchen. An early estimate on the damage is said to be between $30,000 and $40,000.
"It was minor. It's just going to require a lot of work with the city. We have to go with the inspections, the insurance companies and make sure that everything's taken care of with the employees," Kneip said.
If everything goes according to plan, Charlie hopes to have Cherry Creek open up by Friday, which is a small time frame but a best-case scenario considering there was just a fire.
"Nobody was hurt, it's going to maybe be a week down. It's never good, but nobody got hurt and they did a good job of putting out the fire and we'll get back up and running," Kneip said.
Minus the slight smell of smoke, there was no damage to the main restaurant area that just went through renovations.