A kitchen fire early Thursday sent a visible column of black smoke through the roof of the Lil' Jon restaurant and caused approximately $475,000 damage to the popular Eastgate eatery.
The janitor for the building reported the fire at 1:39 a.m. Firefighters arrived within five minutes to find heavy smoke and flames from the roof. Fire crews from Bellevue, Mercer Island and Eastside Fire and Rescue were called. The fire was under control half an hour later, but the entire kitchen was heavily damaged by smoke, fire and water.
Lil' Jon, on the 3000 block of 148th Avenue Southeast, has been a popular plac,e known for its breakfasts and meeting areas for groups, families and friends. There is no estimate of when the restaurant can return to business.
There is no preliminary cause to report, and Bellevue fire investigators are working diligently through the morning hours to try and determine a cause. There were no injuries to either fire crews or civilians.
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