Fire late Friday night has shut down Louie’s Hot Dogs on Elmwood Avenue, but the owner of the popular Elmwood Avenue restaurant promises to reopen soon.
“We’re going to rise up out of the ashes,” vowed owner Angelo Turco, who was not at the restaurant at the time of the fire.
Firefighters battled the blaze in the ventilation system at Louie’s Hot Dogs, which sent flames shooting out the top of the outdoor smokestack.
No one was injured, and damage to the 22-year-old Elmwood Village restaurant was limited, Turco said.
Turco promised that Louie’s Hot Dogs would re-open in a month or two.
The fire was reported at about midnight, and Turco’s workers told him the restaurant was packed, with about a dozen people in line waiting to get a late-night bite to eat when the fire broke out.
Something overheated in the hood system over the grill, Turco said.
“It melted the motor, and sparks started to fly, and the whole thing went up in flames,” said Turco, who said he arrived at the restaurant a few minutes after the fire started.
The restaurant, at the corner of Elmwood and Hodge Street, was evacuated as firefighters made their way through the heavy snow to fight the blaze.
Fire officials said two extra engines and a ladder truck were called in to help out.
The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.
Turco said that most of the fire damage was limited to the smokestack and the outside of the building.
Most of the damage on the inside came from the water firefighters had to use to flush out the smokestack, he said.
“There’s no structural damage,” he said.