The Fincher’s Barbecue on Houston Road has a smokier aroma after Sunday’s fire in the kitchen.
“We kind of want to leave a little of that smell. We’re a barbecue place,” Doug Fincher III said Monday morning as workers came by to survey damage and formulate the cost of repairs.
Fincher estimates it will be at least a week, maybe 10 days before they can reopen.
About 3 p.m. Sunday, a fire ignited in an enclosed cooking pit in the back of the kitchen.
Fincher isn’t sure whether the heating element or fan could have sparked the grease-fueled fire.
One of the workers grabbed a fire extinguisher, but the chemicals just trickled out at first, Fincher said.
With the fire station about a mile down the street, crews arrived quickly an extinguished the fire.
“It was more smoke and heat damage other than fire damage,” Fincher said.
Sgt. Ben Gleaton, a Macon-Bibb fire investigator, confirmed that the flames were contained inside the cooking pit.
“All that pig fat burns pretty good,” Gleaton said. “It burned up the smoker but the rest was just smoke damage.”
Firefighters removed some tiles to make sure there was no fire in the ceiling, but the power was restored by late Monday morning.
Restaurant manager Dustin Wilson said there is no damage to the dining room.
“It didn’t even break through the front of the kitchen,” Wilson said. “There wasn’t any structural damage.”
From the outside, there is no evidence of the fire.
The Johnsons from Perry pulled into the drive-thru and waited for a couple of minutes before learning the eatery was closed for repairs.
Just before noon Monday, three construction workers came in commenting on the fresh barbecue smell.
They were about to ease into a booth when Wilson told them the restaurant would be closed for about a week.
“We’ll try you next week,” one of them said.
“The one on Houston Avenue is still wide open,” Wilson said as the men headed out.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.