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Fire erupts in kitchen of Taste of Thai restaurant in Del Mar

Posted at 5:42 AM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 15:28:46-04

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) – A fire erupted inside a Del Mar restaurant early Thursday morning, but firefighters were able to stop the flames before it spread throughout the business.

The fire at the Taste of Thai restaurant, located off Via De La Valle at 15770 San Andres Dr., was reported shortly before 4:30 a.m., according to fire officials at the scene.

Fire officials said the blaze began in the kitchen and quickly spread to the restaurant’s roof and attic area.

Responding crews were able to gain control of the fire and prevented it from spreading to the rest of the restaurant.

No one was inside the restaurant at the time of the fire.

Photos taken by the owner’s son, Mark Habbestad, showed serious damage to the kitchen and other nearby areas.

“It’s just everything is gone. We just bought an ice machine, new refrigerator … tables are burned, chairs are burned, there’s a hole in the roof,” Habbestad said.

Habbestad said a cleaning crew was at the restaurant on Wednesday for regular maintenance.

“It was a hood cleaning for the grease and all of the grease buildup from woks,” he told 10News.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and it remains unclear if the maintenance played any role in the blaze.

While the family is devastated by what transpired Thursday morning, Habbestad was thankful for the firefighters’ efforts in putting out the fire, and he knows his family will eventually rebuild.

“Hopefully, we’ll be opened for all the great customers in this neighborhood … Have faith in us, we will be open again, we hope, and we’ll be back.”

The family has had their Del Mar restaurant since 1999. They have owned the Taste of Thai in Hillcrest since 1988.