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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2002

Grease fire damages, disrupts TGI Friday's

An accidental fire yesterday at TGI Friday's caused about $250,000 damage and forced the restaurant to close for at least several days for cleanup and repairs, authorities said.

The two-alarm fire started when excessive grease buildup in a grill hood/duct system ignited in the kitchen at the eatery, 1334 Bernath Pkwy. The fire was reported to authorities by the restaurant's security alarm company about 2:20 a.m., said Denis Bembenek of the Toledo fire investigation unit.

Two people were cleaning the building when one of them saw smoke and fire conditions. Most of the damage was confined to the area around the hood and ducts, Mr. Bembenek said.

The restaurant, which opened in June, 1981, is owned by Carlson Restaurants in Dallas. It is the only TGI Friday's location in Toledo. It is unknown when the business will reopen, said Amy Freshwater, company spokeswoman.

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