Y&H just confirmed with Ellen Kassoff Gray, co-owner and general manager of Equinox, that the downtown restaurant has suffered a serious fire in the kitchen.
“We don’t know what happened yet,” Kassoff Gray told Y&H just a few minutes ago. She couldn’t talk more at the moment and asked if she could call back later.
In the meantime, this announcement is on Kassoff Gray’s facebook page:
Equinox has suffered from a devistating fire. We will be operating from Aria Restaurant. -please call 202-409-3157 for more information. Thank you and with the help of good friends we will be up and running again soon. Wish us luck!
More as we know it.
UPDATE, 11:55 a.m.: D.C. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer told Y&H this morning that the fire at Equinox was limited to the kitchen and the hood and duct systems above it. He described the fire as “small,” but mentioned that it did cause some damage to the surrounding walls and ceiling.
The restaurant, Piringer added, is closed for now until the Health Department and other city agencies rule that it is ready to reopen.
About 60 to 70 firefighters were dispatched to the building at 818 Connecticut Avenue just before 3 a.m. today. Piringer says that is a “normal amount” of firefighters for that location, which is just blocks from the White House.
The fire was “under control very quickly,” Piringer says. The last unit left the scene around 6 a.m. today.
There were no injuries, and the fire was ruled accidental, Piringer adds. The estimated damage is between $30,000-$40,000. The spokesman did not know the exact cause of the fire yet.
UPDATE, 12:07 p.m.: Piringer e-mailed Y&H just now with the cause of the Equinox fire: As you might suspect, it was a grease fire.
UPDATE: 3:58 p.m.: DC Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer says that firefighting crews are back on the scene near Equinox. It’s not actually in the restaurant itself, he adds, but in the exterior exhaust system between buildings.
Piringer believes there may have been debris left in the duct work from this morning’s fire, which started to smolder this afternoon. Crews are still on the scene now.