HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A wood-fired oven that is typically left on at a downtown Hastings restaurant is the likely cause of a fire that damaged four businesses early Sunday morning.
Around 3:30 a.m., an officer with the Hastings Police Department was patrolling in the area of East State Street and South Michigan Avenue and noticed the fire at Vinnies Woodfired Saloon, Deputy Chief Julissa Kelly said. Fire crews arrived on scene about five minutes later.
After multiple hours, crews contained the fire to Vinnies Woodfired Saloon. Part of the building was torn down so firefighters could get to a small fire that was still active inside the restaurant. It has since been extinguished.
Three other businesses were impacted by the fire. The fire spread to neighboring businesses Under the Sun and Ortwein International. Kelly said that there is damage to those buildings. On the other side of Under the Sun, business Bay to Bay Building Concepts was damaged by smoke.
A tree in front of the restaurant also caught fire and was cut down, a News 8 crew that was at the scene reports.
Kelly says the wind was a factor in how the fire spread.
Fire crews believe that the wood-fired oven was the cause of the fire which started in the kitchen, Kelly says.
The Hastings City Police said that officers were told that the wood-fired oven is typically left on, and it was on when restaurant staff left around midnight.
No one was inside the building when the fire began.
East State Street, Michigan Avenue and East Apple Street were closed for a number of hours while crews cleaned up and investigated. The roads have since reopened.
The state fire marshal has been contacted, the police department said.
News 8 was previously told that fire crews arrived on scene 10 minutes after a police officer found the fire. Kelly later informed us that it was five minutes. The article has been updated to correct the timeline.