A Bob Evans restaurant on the city’s North Side caught fire overnight, then reignited again after firefighters were able to get the blaze under control. Now, two firefighters are in the hospital, media outlets reported.
The restaurant, located on state Route 161, near Interstate 71, in the Busch neighborhood, initially burst into flames around 2:45 a.m. Thursday, the Columbus Division of Fire said. Video taken at the scene overnight showed thick, black smoke billowing out of the building as firefighters hosed water through the roof of the building.
City Deputy Chief Shawn Koser told WSYX-TV that firefighters evacuated once flames started shooting through the roof. As many as 50 firefighters were called to the scene from at least two departments.
They were finally able to get it under control around 4 a.m., but the flames rekindled shortly thereafter and firefighters had to return.
Fire Battalion Chief Martin told The Columbus Dispatch Thursday that one firefighter hurt his shoulder during the initial blaze and was taken to a hospital to receive treatment. A second firefighter was taken to a hospital later after experiencing heat exhaustion, spokeswoman Rebecca Diehm told the newspaper.
Bob Evans CEO Saed Mohseni told media outlets in a statement they are thankful no one was in the restaurant when the blaze began. The restaurant says the building is considered a complete loss due to the roof collapsing.
“It is too soon for us to understand the full implications of the fire,” said Mohseni. “What we can say is that we have been able to relocate all of the affected employees to nearby restaurants, so they will continue to be employed.”