A Johnson City restaurant is expected to be closed for about a week following a blaze in its kitchen.

Firefighters were sent to Blondie's restaurant in the Oakdale Mall shortly before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A sprinkler system was activated by the fire, quickly extinguishing the blaze. Fire damage was confined to the kitchen.

Fire marshal Bob Blakeslee said the blaze originated in a hamper that was filled with folded and stacked cleaning rags. He believes the fire may have smoldered for a few hours before it burned up a wall and triggered the sprinkler system.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Co-owner Andrew Malo said the sprinklers ran for "close to two hours" resulting in a significant amount of water throughout the restaurant.

A disaster cleanup company has been retained to help prepare the business to reopen.

Blondie's opened last December in the mall space that had been occupied for years by an Arby's restaurant.

Preparations were underway for the opening of Blondie's restaurant on November 6, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 772-8400 extension 233.

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