Smoked is a given at a barbecue joint – but not to this extent.
Fire crews were called to the Longhorn Barbecue, 2315 N. Argonne, about 3:30 a.m. early Monday, when the fire was spotted by a man working at the nearby Maverik gas station, said Julie Happy, Spokane Valley Fire Department spokeswoman.
The fire was out and crews were cleaning up the scene by 6 a.m.
The fire started on an exterior wall at the back of the restaurant. An initial investigation indicates it was started by someone who made a “makeshift” cooking fire, Happy said.
A pot with ramen noodles in it was found outside the restaurant near the spot where the fire started.
The fire traveled up the wall and into the attic, triggering sprinklers to activate.
“The sprinklers worked and saved the inside of the building,” Happy said.
Spokane County Fire Districts 8 and 9 assisted the department.
It was the second fire in less than 24 hours in which sprinklers likely prevented major damage at a restaurant in Spokane Valley, Happy said.
Firefighters were called to Vaqueros Mexican Restaurant and Taqueria, 16208 E. Indiana Ave., about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Happy said. Sprinklers were activated during a cooking fire, and the restaurant was able to reopen after about two hours, she said.
Fire crews also put out a fire at the Spokane Valley Longhorn in 2018. Fire officials said at the time the fire didn’t cause much damage.