An early-morning fire at Sion's Mexican Restaurant
in Manhattan Beach at approximately 6:00 a.m. caused damage to Sion's kitchen and stopped traffic on Sepulveda Blvd. for about an hour.
Brian Yount, the public information officer for the Manhattan Beach Fire Department, told DigMB that the incident was still under investigation. However, he said, the fire appeared to have been contained to one portion of the kitchen, so it's "safe to assume" that the fire started there.
Yount added that there were no injuries reported, and that when firefighters arrived on the scene they had to break in the door to enter, so there appeared to have been no one in the restaurant at the time.
Yount said that having fire damage in a kitchen would prevent a restaurant from operating normally for a while, because the restaurant would have to address smoke and other damage and would need a follow-up inspection from the health department.
"It will certainly impact their operations in the present and possibly near future," said Yount.
Sion's, which has been in operation for more than 30 years, is a Manhattan Beach landmark known for its homestyle Mexican food - and for its loyal clientele.
A spokesperson for Sion's, reached late Monday night, said that the team wasn't sure of the extent of the damages yet but the kitchen took the most of it, and it may be a few months before the restaurant is back up and running.
Multiple Agencies on the Scene
Fire personnel activity outside Sion's Mexican Restaurant on Monday morning. Photo courtesy of John Mares.
The first call to the fire department came in an unusual way, said Yount. A member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department happened to be driving by on Sepulveda and saw smoke. He quickly radioed in the call to the L.A. County fire dispatch.
Manhattan Beach firefighters also got a call and came over immediately, arriving just seconds before the L.A. County firefighters also arrived, he said.
All told, there were engines and trucks from Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, and L.A. County on the scene.
Firefighters shut down the southbound side of Sepulveda while they were working. Southbound traffic on Sepulveda was reopened just before 7:30 a.m.