OCFD Investigates Cause Of 'The Shack' Restaurant Fire

Thursday, June 13th 2013, 9:15 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City firefighters say a popular northwest side restaurant could be a total loss after two explosions sent flames high into the air.

OCFD says roughly 50 people were in or around The Shack restaurant, near NW 63 St. and Classen Blvd., when the first explosion rocked the building Thursday. The fire was located in the kitchen area, but now investigators are trying to figure out if the fire started outside the building.

"We kept moving away from the building, and there was a second explosion as well," customer Michelle Day said. "At that point, we just stayed clear and out of the way."

About 15 employees and 35 customers walked away without a scratch, officials said.

"Everybody was really lucky that we didn't have any injuries on this scene," Major Tim Long with OCFD said. 

6/13/2013 Related Story: Popular NW OKC Restaurant Destroyed By Fire

Firefighters, drenched in sweat, used shade and water to cool down in near triple-digit degree weather. First responders said it was uncomfortable and even worse under firefighters' heavy suits.

"It's about 170 [to] 180 degrees [under the suits] … it's a little warm," Long said.

The explosion sent debris as far as a block away from the restaurant. Authorities say they are unsure if a propane tank or hot water tank exploded. No one from the restaurant would go on camera. Supplier Jim Hodges says the owner is out of town.

"Unfortunately, the owner left this morning to go to Florida with his children for vacation," Hodges said. "[The fire] certainly won't help his trip."

Witnesses say they never smelled gas in the air. All of this is happening just 18 days before a second location of The Shack will open near Memorial Rd. and May Ave. in Oklahoma City.