Fire damages Panda Express
Date:Tuesday, October 22 @ 00:00:30 MDT
Topic:Valley and State

OREM -- The Provo Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire that began Monday morning in the vacant business space next to the Panda Express at 1240 N. University Ave.

Initial reports by the Provo Fire Department on Monday estimated damage at $340,000.Most of the vacant business space was destroyed. In addition to smoke and water damage to Panda Express, the fire also destroyed some of the restaurant's cooking area.

"They'll probably have to go back in and redo it," Provo Fire Capt. Gary Jolley said. "It probably won't reopen for a while."

"It's really bad," Panda Express manager Garry Kwok said. "The building is brand new-- we just opened -- and now we have to close again."

One firefighter was transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration. According to Jolley, there were no other injuries.

"It's really sad this happened, but we're happy it didn't happen during business hours, where people could have been hurt," he said.

Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 10 a.m. Kwok called 911 after arriving at the restaurant to begin preparations for lunch.

"I saw the smoke inside the building, but didn't see any fire. I searched the restaurant for fire and found nothing, so I called 911," Kwok said.

The blaze, which took firefighters approximately an hour to put out, originated in the roof area of the vacant building, according to the fire department.