SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – The owner of a landmark Shreveport restaurant Ernest New Orleans is grateful for the quick response of firefighters on Sunday when a fire broke out in the kitchen. "They saved us from losing the building," says owner Ernest Palmisano. "It could have been a whole lot worse. They just saved it. Can't say enough good things about 'em."
Palmisano says the building's fire alarm was activated just after 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Shreveport's Fire Engine 5 was there in less than five minutes, finding light smoke coming out of the rear of the building. When they went inside, they found fire in a wall behind the stove area in the kitchen, and had it under control in 20 minutes.
Palmisano says a fan over a work station had overheated, sparking the flames. The damage was contained to the kitchen area and caused moderate damage. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is not considered suspicious.
"We're just lucky there wasn't anybody in the building at the time it happened," says Palmisano.
Monday afternoon, Shreveport fire fighters representing the Stoner Avenue station that responded Sunday returned the restaurant at Palmisano's request. He wanted to thank them, and invite them to come back when the restaurant re-opens. "We're shooting for to try to get open tomorrow evening, Tuesday evening about 5 o'clock. Worst case scenario would be Wednesday but I'm really hoping for tomorrow evening."
If all goes well, that will mean Ernest New Orleans will re-open without missing a day of business.