Overnight fire burns attic of Palm Desert restaurant

No word yet on damage estimate at Armando's Dakota Bar & Grill

armandos fire

Investigators were looking into the cause of an overnight fire at a Palm Desert restaurant early Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to Armando's Dakota Bar and Grill at 73260 El Paseo shortly after midnight.

The one story business is located in a strip mall building near the corner of Sage and El Paseo  just east of Monterey Avenue.

Diane Kaiser owns Today's Tresses, located just behind Armando's Bar and Grill. She rushed to work as soon as she heard about the fire and breathed a sigh of relief the flames didn't spread to her or other surrounding businesses.

"Very lucky, very very lucky. It looks pretty intense over there so we're very lucky and very fortunate we don't have any of the smell of the fire inside or anything," Kaiser said.

Firefighters found smoke and flames shooting out of the roof, and managed to quickly contain the flames to the restaurant's attic. Employees say it's believed the fire started in the restaurant's kitchen, but it's still under investigation. No injuries were reported.

A stretch of El Paseo in front of the business was closed overnight, but reopened early Friday morning. At neighboring Hair Down Under, a hair salon next to Armando's Bar and Grill, despite no running water or electricity they're doing business as usual.

"Situations like this life goes on and you try to do the best you can. There's a neighbor letting me shampoo off clients there," hairstylist Mark Maiorano said.

Kaiser said she realizes the strip mall they're located in is a little dated, and the fire is prompting her to take precautionary measures.

"It concerns me a little bit, we do have a fire extinguisher, but the smoke alarms will probably be installed right away," she said.

Armando's was closed on Friday and the owner is dealing with insurance. There's no word how long the restaurant will be closed.

This isn't the first time there's been a fire at Armando's Bar and Grill. The restaurant caught fire back in December 2002.

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