Ceiling catches fire at Brazil Grill
By Maria Papadopoulos, Enterprise staff writer
BROCKTON — The roof vent system over a charcoal grill may have contributed to a ceiling fire that caused the evacuation of a Crescent Street restaurant Wednesday, fire officials said.
No injuries were reported.
About 10 patrons were evacuated from Brazil Grill, a restaurant at 686 Crescent St., after smoke began to fill the restaurant, fire officials said.
Authorities received a 911 call from a cell phone reporting the fire at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday, said Fire Deputy Chief Edward Mack.
“They're looking at the vent system,” Mack said about the cause of the blaze, which remains under investigation. “It's definitely in and around the vent area.”
Firefighters arrived to find flames confined to the ceiling area and smoke throughout the restaurant, Mack said.
The fire “advanced into the roof area and was burning the material off the roof,” Mack said.
Firefighters, who used a power saw to cut off the roofing material, were able to extinguish the flames within 20 minutes, Mack said. Authorities cleared the scene within two hours. Mack estimated damage at $10,000.
Stacks of burnt roofing material were strewn behind the restaurant after the fire. Ceiling tiles had been removed above the grill, and the smell of smoke permeated throughout the restaurant.
Cido Alencar, the restaurant's manager, said he called 911 when he began to smell smoke.
“We smelled something,” he said. “Then we saw the fire in the ceiling.”
Alencar, 31, and his wife, Andrea, 26, who live in Weymouth, manage the restaurant and were in the process of buying it, he said.
Andrea Alencar said the restaurant does not have insurance.
The owners “let (the insurance) lapse,” Andrea Alencar said. “We were in the process of getting it this week when we found out there was no insurance.”
The restaurant is owned by Nei Oleveira and Jeff Sample, no address available, according to the restaurant's liquor license, Mack said. The building is owned by C.G.I. Management, 637 Washington St., Suite 200, Brookline.
The restaurant serves Brazilian cuisine that is cooked on a charcoal grill, Andrea Alencar said.
“It's all rotisserie meats. There's a bunch of skewers, and it's all charcoal flames,” she said.
A similar ceiling fire occurred at the restaurant in February, fire officials said.
Fire Inspector Richard MacMurdo said the restaurant is one of two in the city with charcoal grills, which “burns a lot hotter than normal” grills.
“This is something new to us,” said MacMurdo, who added a regular permit is required to have a charcoal grill.
MacMurdo said investigators are pointing toward combustibles in the ceiling area — plywood and sheet metal, which were positioned too close to one another — as a possible cause of the fire.
Maria Papadopoulos can be reached at email@example.com.