Two possibly related fires that tore through a Hof’s Hut in Long Beach left one firefighter hospitalized Monday morning and the longstanding restaurant severely damaged, authorities said.
Crews were first called to the business in the 4200 block of Long Beach Boulevard (map) about 9 p.m. Sunday for a report of a fire in the duct or hood system, according to Brian Fisk of the Long Beach Fire Department.
There were people in the restaurant, but it wasn’t clear if they knew there was a fire burning in the duct system, Fisk said. No one was injured and the fire was declared knocked down.
Then, about 1 a.m. Monday, a passerby reported flames coming from the building’s roof, Fish said. As firefighters responded, the fire spread and caused “extensive damage,” he said.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the second fire, which burned while the restaurant was closed, Fisk initially said.
An arson unit was investigating, he said.
Investigators were working to determine if the second fire was a rekindling of the first or if it was a separate blaze, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
One firefighter had to be taken to an area hospital for injuries sustained while battling the blaze, according to Fisk. His condition was not immediately known, but his injuries were described as minor.
The particular Hof’s Hut restaurant, which is part of a chain of 1950s coffee-shop style restaurants, has been in business for more than 50 years, Fisk said.
In a statement, Brad Hofman of the four-location restaurant chain sent best wishes to the injured firefighter. Hofman said the company was grateful to first responders and employees who helped get customers out of the restaurant.
“We are devastated by the fire and loss of our Long Beach Boulevard restaurant,” Hofman said.
KTLA’s Geoff Peters contributed to this story.