An after-hours fire inside a vent damaged an Augusta restaurant Sunday night.

Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette said the fire at Red Robin at 52 Stephen King Drive caused about $25,000 in damage. He said the fire was contained to a stove top and duct work in the kitchen.

The fire broke out around 11 p.m., which is about an hour after the restaurant closed, according to the restaurant’s website. Audette said nobody was injured in the fire.

A person who answered the phone at Red Robin on Monday declined to comment on the fire.

Audette said the restaurant will be closed until the kitchen is cleaned up and equipment is repaired. The Department of Health and Human Services will have to inspect the restaurant before it can re-open, Audette said.

“It’s a standard practice to have an inspector come,” he said. “Red Robin has done an amazing job. They’re working to get it squared away so they can get it opened back up as soon as possible.”

Firefighters responding to an alarm at 11:15 p.m. arrived to find smoke coming from a roof vent that led to the kitchen, Audette said. Nobody was inside the restaurant at the time.

“Being closed, there shouldn’t be any smoke coming out of that,” he said.

Firefighters broke a window to get in and found fire in the kitchen on top of the stove and in the duct work. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, but not before it damaged some equipment. Audette said the fire could have been much worse if the alarm had not worked properly.

“The good thing is the fire alarm did what it was supposed to do,” Audette said.

He believes the fire smoldered and flared in grease built up in the ductwork, which is a common problem for restaurants, particularly those like Red Robin that specialize in hamburgers.

“We have this happen almost every year,” Audette said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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