Officials: Anson Restaurant fire originated from kitchen grill

CFD officials at the scene of a fire at the Anson Restaurant in downtown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Investigators with the Charleston Fire Department say a fire that damaged a downtown restaurant on Christmas Eve originated from the kitchen's grill before spreading to combustible materials in the building.

Authorities with the fire department say the fire happened at the Anson Restaurant on 12 Anson St just after 12 p.m.

According to fire officials, the fire was reported at 12:04 p.m. with callers reporting flames coming from near the grill area and extending up the wall into the kitchen's exhaust hood.

A report states and employee who was preparing food for the Christmas Eve dinner other employees in the restaurant, and then attempted to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. The employee also activated the hood suppression system before exiting the restaurant.

Fire department units arrived and reported seeing fire in the kitchen hood system. Crews reported that the fire had also extended and involved the structure.

According to a press release by the fire department, the building was occupied at the time of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

A second-story office area suffered heat and fire damage, while smoke and fire damaged the first floor, officials say.

The restaurant was expecting over 600 guests for dinner Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Staffers say this will be the first time in over 20 years they're unable to host the dinner.

Anson Restaurant worked with online reservations website, Open Table, to contact guests who made reservations over the two days.

They've also been working to donate food that's been prepared to local food banks.  Interested food banks can contact the restaurant manager Zack Place at

The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.