ALLENDALE CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - The manager of the Los Aztecas restaurant that was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon said his staff was making a batch of pork carnitas when a grease fire got out of hand.
The restaurant located on Lake Michigan Drive near 48th Avenue caught fire shortly after 1 p.m.
One person was treated for minor smoke inhalation at the scene, fire officials said.
Smoke could be seen for miles as it billowed from the restaurant located near the Grand Valley State University main campus.
"No time for nothing," said restaurant manager Tío Mendoza. "It's unreal. In only five minutes - everything smoke."
Mendoza said grease being used to cook the pork carnitas caught fire and spilled on the floor which then caught fire as well.
Allendale fire officials said the building did not have a working sprinkler system that may have helped to control the blaze that kept firefighters on the scene for hours.
"It could have minimized a lot of the damage that was done here today," said Allendale Fire Chief Mike Keefe. "The fire traveled through the attic area and we were unable to get at it because of the steel roof design of this building."
Fire investigators had not made a positive determination as to what caused the fire but said the building is a complete loss.
Eastbound traffic on Lake Michigan drive is being rerouted as emergency personnel remain on scene.
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