Des Moines firefighters quickly extinguished a kitchen fire at 801 Grand Ave. early Thursday morning. The Des Moines Fire Department got the call at 5:55 a.m. for a kitchen fire at the 801 Chophouse restaurant on the second floor of the 44-story Principal Building, said Capt. Randy Jones. When firefighters arrived, there was no smoke or flames showing from the high rise, he said. The source of the fire was a pot that was burning on the stove. Jones said building employees told him the restaurant typically leaves a pot warming overnight.
The building’s sprinkler system had activated, but it did not reach the pot because the pot was under a shelf, Jones said. Firefighters put a lid on the pot to slow it down and used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze in about 10 minutes. Jones said he’s not sure what was burning in the pot. “I don’t know. It’s burned up beyond recognition,” he said.
While firefighters briefly closed part of Grand Avenue, it has since reopened. Jones said there was “quite a bit of smoke” on the second floor that firefighters were ventilating Thursday morning, but the rest of the building would be open as usual. Damon Murphy, 801 Chophouse’s general manager, said there wasn’t any damage to the restaurant, just some cleanup that was required. Murphy said he expected the restaurant to be open as normal Thursday evening, pending an inspection.