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Chinatown restaurant fire ties up traffic

  • PHOTO BY FRANK BRIDGEWATER/FBRIDGEWATER@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Smoke could be seen coming from a kitchen fire at the Chinese Cultural Plaza this morning.
  • PHOTO BY CRAIG T. KOJIMA/CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Firemen inside the Won Kee restaurant at the Chinese Cultural Plaza check thedining area for fire and smoke.
  • PHOTO BY CRAIG T. KOJIMA/CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Firefighters ventilate smoke from a fire this morning at the Chinese Cultural Plaza downtown.
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A fire damaged the kitchen to the Won Kee Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown this morning, shutting down North Beretania Street at the heart of rush hour.

There were employees in the restaurant at the time but no one was injured.

Firefighters responded to the call about 7:57 a.m., said Capt. Terry Seelig, spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department. “It appears to be related to the grease trap,” he said. “It extended up into the hood and ducting for the hood.”

Seelig said investigators are still determining the cause of the fire but there appears to have been grease build-up in the grease trap which contributed to the fire.

The fire was considered under control by 8:06 a.m. although smoke continued to come out of the duct for about 45 minutes, he said.

Damage appeared confined to the kitchen,he said, and the restaurant was unlikely to open today.

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