Fire closes Bandido’s at Woodcroft

Nov. 23, 2013 @ 07:34 AM

A fire at Bandido’s Restaurant on Hope Valley Road near Woodcroft Friday evening forced the evacuation of the restaurant and several neighboring businesses.

No injuries were reported.

Durham Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi said the fire was reported at 5:25 p.m., and was under control at 5:30 p.m.

Iannuzzi said the fire started in duct work above the restaurant ceiling, but officials weren’t sure if it was cooking-related or caused by a malfunction of other equipment.

There was smoke and minimal fire damage, he said.

“It may have been smoke in the vent, or it may have very well have been something mechanical in the HVAC,” he said.

Tony Sustaita, the restaurant’s co-owner, said the restaurant manager called him to report smoke coming out of vents in the kitchen. Sustaita said he told the manager to evacuate the restaurant and call the fire department.

“We never saw a fire,” he said.

Sustaita said he plans to call the insurance company on Monday. He said he expects the restaurant may be closed at least 60 days.

“Luckily we have other locations in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill where customers can go to,” he said.