CFD release details in Anson Restaurant fire

      File Photo (WCIV)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston Fire officials have released their report on the fire that damaged the Anson Restaurant Christmas Eve.

      According to the release, the fire started as staff prepared Christmas Eve dinner.

      "A chef with the restaurant reported fire near the grill area and extending up the wall into the kitchen exhaust hood.," the release states. "The employee alerted several other employees working inside the structure of the fire and attempted to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher. The employee activated the hood suppression system before exiting the structure. An initial 911 caller in a nearby parking lot saw flames coming from the roof of the structure."

      From there, the fire spread up and out the vent onto the building's roof. Officials said damage was mainly on the second story.

      "Based on employee information and observed damage by the fire investigators, the fire was determined to have originated on the grill area during cooking operations and subsequently spread to combustible materials in the structure. Investigators are continuing to work with building management and their insurance investigators to complete the investigation."

      Owner Kiara Barnett closed the restaurant for the night. Managers had hoped they would be able to find a different restaurant in which they could operate and open to serve a clientele list of about 650 people Christmas day. However, they were not able to find a location, according to Zack Place, director of operations.

      Place guaranteed the employees of Anson will "be taken care of" through the duration of the closure. He did not know how long the restaurant would remain closed.

      Anson Restaurant has been open on Anson Street near the Market since 1991.