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Damage estimated at $2.5 million in Waikiki Cheesecake Factory fire

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 04:45 p.m. HST, Feb 01, 2013

The damage to the kitchen, exhaust ducts and neighboring businesses from a fire at the popular Cheesecake Factory Restaurant in Waikiki is estimated at $2.5 million, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said.

It's unclear when the restaurant, one of the busiest in Waikiki, will reopen.

Forty firefighters from 8 companies responded to the 3:32 a.m. alarm at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in the heart of the tourist district.

A cleaning crew was at work when the blaze broke out in the kitchen area, said Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman.

The crew was evacuated and no one was injured. The 2-alarm fire was under control by 4:45 a.m. and extinguished by 5:30 a.m., Seelig said.

Kalakaua avenue was closed for 3 1/2 hours until fire trucks cleared the scene.

Seelig said the cause of the fire was a gas leak to the fryer in the kitchen that was ignited by the pilot light.

Arriving fire companies found heavy smoke in the kitchen and dining areas. The fire was confined to the kitchen, but it spread to the exhaust ducts, igniting grease in the ducts, Seelig said.

Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the roof of the restaurant fed by establishment’s ducts.

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Surfer_Dude wrote:
Better get it fixed by spring break.
on February 1,2013 | 08:46AM
allie wrote:
on February 1,2013 | 09:54AM
64hoo wrote:
close to your place of work I guess.
on February 1,2013 | 03:35PM
MichaelDaly1 wrote:
The fire could have caused death if it happened during lunch or dinner shift when the store is way over crowded with staff and guests. The facility was never designed for so many staff and guests and an outragous $22 million annual profit that the staff don't share – the shop exploits workers and resources – stretching every thing to the limit. The corporation traded at the NY Stock Exchange spend considerable revenue on indoctrinating workers into dependence. Daily rallies before every shift are usually held in the alleyway next to the trash and oil traps. WalMart use the same “we-are-family” brainwashing. Both are not unionised – and Local five don't really care or are corrupt - they would be on a strike today in support if they were a genuine union – the kind I know from decades past. It’s been reported today that the cleaning crew at 3:30 am used the fire extinguishers to put out the flames behind the cooker but it still spread up the ducks – why? Does Royal Hawaiian Center care that the house is pushed to breaking point – or is owner, Kamehameha Schools, just happy for the rent? I know from my experience that staff will be fired if they take work and safety breaks despite being told that they can! TCF will bring in USA team lawyers to Dept of Labor unemployment insurance cases to challenge a wrongful dismissal appeal. The go-team-go rallies reinforce the highly sophisticated business propaganda of “family” at the beginning of each shift. The Micronesian dishwashing team are driven to exhaustion all the way through to 1:00 am or 2:00 am when they finally unclog the drain holes and hand-off to the contracted clean crew who work through to 6:00 am when the first prep and line cooks start all over – the doors never close – except for Thanksgiving Day. There is no staff room and only one male and one female toilet for shifts of 100 or more overworked personnel. The overcrowding on the line and in the back of house is fatiguing and dangerous. The pay does not allow for a living wage. Racial divide is evident and tips are not shared with the back-of-house. Elderly are done away with but cannot retire. I know- I worked as a dishwasher and prep in Australia and Switzerland. I have worked all over the world on minimum wages – In Australia in 1980s the minimum wage and benefits for a dishwasher was higher than the USA minimum wage is today –and no benefits. I worked at TCF Honolulu for three years. Despite what brainwashed employees at TCF might say about “family”, those desperate to be enslaved as there only or best option - having to work double shifts or juggle triple jobs and live in overcrowding the Waikiki shop I say is an experience of exploitation with a happy face – Disney worlds USA! I am sickened.
on February 1,2013 | 03:27PM
Sounds like the voice of an unhappy former employee.
on February 1,2013 | 04:35PM
brian606 wrote:
Or the voice of union labor
on February 1,2013 | 04:53PM
Eradication wrote:
Worked all over the world on minimum wages...wonder why? Could it be you spend more time complaining than working?
on February 1,2013 | 10:45PM
localguy wrote:
Obviously the ranting of a very misguided, disgruntled former employ who has yet to get a live. Nothing new here, move along.
on February 1,2013 | 11:21PM
Heinbear wrote:
Yikes! I never knew my drinking of "well-mannered martinis" supported slave labor!
on February 1,2013 | 05:11PM
false wrote:
wow 2.5 miliion is a lot for fire damage. I wonder who forgot to turn the gas OFF
on February 1,2013 | 06:50PM
soundofreason wrote:
Curious who did the last safety/duct inspections. I don't think we'd like the answer.
on February 1,2013 | 07:18PM
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