Fitzgerald restaurant catches fire

Fitzgerald restaurant catches fire
The Hibachi Buffet on Ocilla Highway caught fire on Aug. 24 when a grease fire spread after a fryer was left on.

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - A grease fire is blamed for substantial damage to a hibachi restaurant Monday morning.

The fire happened just after 8:45 a.m. at the Hibachi Buffet on Ocilla Highway.

The owner of the restaurant, Steven Zheng, said he left a fryer on while unattended, and it caught fire.

Fire officials say there was a significant amount of damage.

"There's you know structural damage electrical damage, heavy smoke, ceilings all down in the floor," Captain Ronald Coleman said.

Business owner Johnny Mobley said his mother saw the fire from his business and called 911.

"She looked across the street and saw the smoke, and she was the first one to call 911" Johnny Mobley said.

Firefighters arrived and put out the flames in 10 minutes.

Mobley says his family had dinner with the owner and his family last night at the buffet.

He finds it surreal that the business is temporarily shut down. 

"I just hate to see them go through it today after a remarkable remolded inside,"  Mobley said.

Mobley says he has faith that the restaurant will be back in business soon.

"Their all troopers and I give them just a couple of week and they'll be wide open again,"  Mobley said.

Zheng said the restaurant will plan to reopen within 30 days.

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