SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Repairs are underway at a popular restaurant in Springfield one day after a fire forced diners to rush out in the middle of their Valentine's Day dinner.
Fire crews responded to a three-alarm fire at Mike's American Grill on Backlick Road before 9 p.m. on Tuesday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the incident left roughly $200,000 in damages.
Approximately 150 customers and 85 employees were inside the building when the fire sparked in the first floor kitchen. No one was injured.
"We had a clear view of the kitchen and we kept seeing the kitchen go up in flames and then one alarm went off and then the other alarm went off," customer Aida Spalding said. "Next thing you know, we were trying to order dessert and the waiter said we had to evacuate. No dessert for us."
Like Spalding, many other diners were forced to leave their vehicles behind and return the next day since fire equipment was blocking the parking lot. Smoke could be seen spewing out from the rooftop.
Crews were at the restaurant the next day to begin the repair work inside and outside of the building. The restaurant said it is temporarily closed and will reopen as soon as possible.
Many customers describe the restaurant as being a staple in the community.
"I went to high school close by and for everyone in this area, it's really a go-to restaurant," Spalding said. "I think it's a big loss."