Fire at Pacific Beach Denny's restaurant ruled arson

Posted at 6:58 AM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 07:22:59-04

UPDATE (Oct. 26, 2018): San Diego Fire-Rescue Department officials are investigating the Denny's fire as an arson case.

Officials said the blaze was intentionally started "using an incendiary on combustible materials at the restaurant."

The department's Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) is investigating the incident and no arrests have been made.

The fire caused an estimated $700,000 in damage to the structure, with an additional $150,000 in damage to contents.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Employees at a Pacific Beach Denny’s were able to escape serious injury after a fire erupted inside the restaurant Thursday morning.

Firefighters rushed to the restaurant on 800 Garnet Ave. at around 12:45 a.m. after receiving reports of smoke filling up inside the eatery.

Bianca Garcia, a server at the restaurant, was one of three workers who were inside when the fire broke out. She said she alerted her two co-workers and they were all able to get out as the fire worsened.

“It just started getting really smoky. Then, pretty soon, I looked around the kitchen and nobody was there,” Garcia told 10News.

Responding firefighters battled the blaze inside and dealt with flames shooting through the roof above the kitchen area. The fire was contained after less then 30 minutes.

No customers were inside at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

Damage from the fire forced the restaurant to close for the day. The restaurant's manager said employees were informed to not come into work Thursday.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.