ST. PETERSBURG — A fire that started at a Japanese steak house early Wednesday was put out by about 5:45 a.m.
Firefighters got a call at 4:57 a.m. reporting flames coming through the roof of the Tsunami Japanese Steak House, 2176 Tyrone Blvd. N.
Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Granata said the fire originated in an electrical box on the roof.
Granata said firefighters first on the scene reported 20-foot flames leaping off the building and being fanned by Wednesday morning's gusty winds.
Manager Gary Lin watched outside as firefighters cut through the mansard roof of his smoldering restaurant and secured possible hot spots.
He said he left work about 11:30 Tuesday night and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
The steak house usually opens about 11 a.m., Lin said. Not today, though.
Granata said there was no smoke or fire damage inside — just water damage from the hoses. He estimated the restaurant could open in about a week.
Also on the scene, sans firefighting uniform and helmet, was Mayor Bill Foster. He surveyed the damage, chatted with firefighters and planned to talk to the steak house's owner about where to go from here.
"I'm out here supporting my troops," he said.
Fire Rescue Chief Jim Large said he called Foster at 5 a.m. when he learned the fire had sounded multiple alarms. It was Foster's first appearance at a fire.
"Even though the end result's not huge, he wants to be notified," Large said.
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