Grease fire causes Denny's in Jackson County to temporarily close

Fire struck the Denny's in Jackson County overnight leaving the place temporarily shutdown.  Managers would not let WLOX inside to see the damage, but as Patrice Clark reports a lot of people were surprised to hear about the blaze.

"I just saw a bunch of people pulling up, fire trucks, ambulances," Jackson County resident Dexter Alford said.

Dexter Alford lives near the popular eating spot. He even snapped a few shots on his phone as the smoke filled the air.

"I just saw mostly heavy, heavy, heavy smoke."

Fort Bayou Fire Department's chief believes a grease fire was most likely the cause of this blaze.

"What happened is they probably had a fire catch up on their stove or their grills and it just went up in the vent system. Then it caught access grease on fire up in there and it traveled upward from there. It is kind of hard to say on the cleaning part of it. I couldn't say if it had or when it had been cleaned out," Chief Lyle Crandall said.

The chief said the building is still sound, but the diner's equipment took a big hit.

"I am sure that is probably going to be in the thousands more than likely."

While workers spent the morning cleaning, customers learned the sad news they wouldn't be getting full at Denny's Saturday.

"Denny's is good," one customer said as she drove off from the diner.

"I am trying to get somewhere for breakfast and every Waffle House is packed and now this," a driver said.

I did speak with Denny's manager and he said the goal is to open as early as Monday.

"I would say they would have to replace their vent-grease tap system, and if I understand it right it should be re-inspected before they open up," Fire Chief Crandall said.

Denny's lovers will be waiting for the doors to open and they know what they'll order.

"Get breakfast at night," a customer said. 

The fire chief says no one was injured and the fire is still under investigation. WLOX did reach out to the manager, but he declined an on camera interview.  

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