Orange, CT – Sprinkler system contains fire at TGI Fridays during busy Saturday night

A fire Saturday night at TGI Fridays was accidental and started in a kitchen exhaust hood, likely because of a malfunction, Fire Marshal Tim Smith said Sunday.

“It had nothing to do with cooking,” Smith said.  An alarm at the restaurant set off by the sprinklers being activated came into fire headquarters just about the same time an astute manager noticed water dripping from the ceiling was discolored, indicating fire, Smith said.

Smith said that because it is a wooden building, the restaurant at 348 Boston Post has sprinklers above and below the ceiling, as required by law.  He said that while the fire was contained to the ceiling area and extinguished quickly between sprinklers and firefighters, there is extensive smoke damage to the entire restaurant, the electricity had to be cut off and the food can’t be kept, so there is no saying when the business will reopen, Smith said.

Fire agencies from Orange, Woodbridge and West Haven responded to the call that came in at 8:44 p.m., Smith said.

Although the sprinkler system worked as it should have, firefighters had to open the roof up to locate the fire and assure the fire was out.

Smith said cleanup by a restoration company is underway.

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