HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton firefighters confirm a small fire sparked at the Waffle House on West Mercury Boulevard Tuesday morning.
The fire was called in around 11:40 a.m., after employees reported smelling smoke. When crews got to the scene, they saw smoke emitting from the eves of the building.
Hampton Fire Department Battalion Chief Anthony Chittum said firefighters were able to find the source of the fire in less than 15 minutes — the yellow artificial roof that goes around the top of the building, called a soffit. Firefighters had to tear that portion down to make sure the fire didn’t extend into the restaurant.
Chittum said investigators determined the fire was accidental — a maintenance crew was soldering pipes too close to combustible material. He said there was a working fire protection system in the restaurant, but the smoldering fire had reached the level of being detected by the system.
All employees and customers had evacuated the business before firefighters arrived, and there were no reported injuries.
The fire caused minor smoke damage and exterior damage to the soffit. The Waffle House is closed until repairs and inspections can be made.