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No injuries in fire at Panera Bread in downtown Batavia

Updated: March 7, 2014 1:33PM

No one was hurt when an electric extension cord caught fire in Panera Bread, forcing the evacuation of the downtown Batavia eatery.

Firemen responded shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday to 154 W. Wilson St. where they found the plastic extension cord hooked up to a water softener in a utility room had caused a small electrical fire in the storefront restaurant located in a shopping center.

Batavia Fire Chief Randy Deicke said fire and smoke damage was minimal due to early detection of the fire and quick action of employees on the scene, who used an emergency extinguisher to douse the fire prior to the department’s arrival.

Deicke said about five employees and another five patrons evacuated safely from the building.

The fire chief said it was a good move for the other workers to call 911 while somebody else was putting out the fire.

“We always recommend the fire department be called to make sure there is no fire in the wall or the appliance,” Deicke said.

Deicke said the malfunctioning extension cord did cause enough smoke that required large fans to clear out the restaurant.

“Burning plastic can produce a fair amount of smoke,” Deicke said.

There was no structural damage to the facility.

The Kane County Health Department was notified to coordinate the clean-up and ensure food was safe to serve. A Panera Bread manager said the incident occurred an hour before closing and the restaurant was open for business Wednesday morning.

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