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Kitchen fire damages Myhre's Restaurant on Bay Street

A three-alarm fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage at Myhre’s Restaurant on Bay Street on the night of July 1, according to initial estimates from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal.

“It started in the grease vent in the kitchen,” said Guy Dalrymple, a battalion chief for South Kitsap Fire and Rescue. “The extinguishing system on the vent hood activated, but it was insufficient to totally put the fire out.”

Then, the ducting between the two floors came apart, allowing the fire to spread into the upstairs Terrace Room and banquet area.

Downstairs, the restaurant was closed, but the bar was open.

Myhre’s employees and patrons began to smell smoke, said Mike Wernet, a Batallion Chief for South Kitsap Fire and Rescue.

Myhre’s employees searched the area for a fire, he said, but, since they couldn’t find one, they went back to the bar and continued working.

“A few minutes later, somebody called them,” he said. “We don’t know who it was, but they said, ‘Hey, your building is on fire you better get out.’ ”

That was an extremely fortunate phone call, said Darymple.

“There was signifiant potential,” he said, for loss of life or injury, considering how many people were in the building during the fire.

Within two minutes, the majority of the second floor was on fire, said Wernet.

Fire had started billowing out of five windows in the back of the building and two on the side, by the time South Kitsap Fire and Rescue crews arrived on the scene.

“We had to make a decision,” said Wernet, “to take an aggressive, interior attack or go defensive. They decided, ‘let’s go put this fire out.’ ”

Two teams, with two people each, went up the restaurant’s back stairwell and “attacked the fire rapidly,” smothering it with water mixed with a soapy foam.

After they'd extinguished the fire inside the banquet room, a different South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Crew cut ventilation holes into the restaurant’s roof, accessing it from a ladder truck parked along the Sidney Avenue side of the building.

The fire was under control within 30 minutes, and it was thoroughly extinguished within 70 minutes.

“Right about at midnight, they called the fire completely out,” said Dalrymple.

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