A pair of fires caused “significant damage” early Monday to the landmark Hof’s Hut restaurant in Long Beach, authorities said.
Just after 9 p.m. Sunday, a fire broke out in the kitchen ventilation system at the Bixby Knolls restaurant, located in the 4200 block of Long Beach Boulevard, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Helfin.
No one was injured in the first blaze, and staff escorted restaurant patrons to safety.
A second fire was reported about 1 a.m. Monday, when a passerby spotted flames tearing through the roof, Helfin said.
Between 35 to 45 firefighters arrived at the scene. The second fire was knocked down about 1:30 a.m. One firefighter was taken to a hospital with minor heat-related injuries.
Firefighters remained at the scene until 8 a.m., watching for any lingering hot spots.
The successive fires led to “extensive” damage to the restaurant, and in a statement posted online, Hof’s Hut thanked loyal patrons for “kind words about the loss of our Bixby Knolls restaurant.”
The cause of each fire remains under investigation, and arson inspectors were at the scene.
Early Monday, the restaurant’s wait staff consoled each other as they surveyed the charred remains of the eatery.
The Hof’s Hut chain -- with three other locations across Southern California -- traces its origins to a Belmont Shore burger stand that opened in the late 1940s.
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