Photo by Curt Yeomans
Clayton County firefighters spray the awning at Martin’s Restaurant, in Morrow, in an attempt to put out a fire at the business, on Monday. Fire officials said the blaze did little damage to the interior of the restaurant, and that it could reopen by the end of the week.
Many of the light blue, light-up letters which spelled out “MARTIN’S” on the front of Martin’s Restaurant in Morrow, turned black Monday afternoon, after a fire caused extensive damage to the roof of the eatery.
Clayton County firefighters were called at 2:23 p.m., to respond to an electrical fire at the restaurant, located at 7200 Jonesboro Road. It was just a half hour before the restaurant, which only serves breakfast and lunch, reached its normal closing time.
An electrical issue with the lighted “MARTIN’S” sign is believed to have caused the fire, according to Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke, a spokesperson for Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services.
“They [Martin’s employees] told dispatchers they thought a sign [the Martin’s light-up sign on the awning] was on fire, and when the firefighters arrived on the scene, that is exactly where they found the fire,” she said.
Feilke said eight people were in the restaurant at the time. She added that they were able to evacuate without sustaining any injuries. The fire department’s spokesperson also said a manager from the restaurant told fire officials they planned to reopen today. The fire department spokesperson said it could be a couple of days, though, before the restaurant is ready to resume operations.
Much damage was done to the restaurant’s roof, near its front awning on the outside of the building, according to Feilke. She said there was some minor interior damage, which was caused when firefighters punched holes in the roof and ceiling. The holes were created by firefighters to make sure they found, and extinguished all of the flames.
As the firefighters pulled the awning apart, new flames emerged, but they were quickly put out. After the flames were extinguished, some of the building’s cream-colored awning had turned varying shades of black and gray. At one point, a bush that was under the “MARTIN’S” sign also caught fire, but it was quickly extinguished.
A thick haze lingered over Jonesboro Road as firefighters arrived, and began putting out the flames. One northbound lane was closed to traffic, to make room for fire engines and police cars. Vehicles were still able to move in both directions without a traffic back-up.
— Staff Writer Kathy Jefcoats contributed to this report.