Employee says rotisserie started fire at Col's Restaurant

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A popular restaurant was in flames Tuesday afternoon in Madison Heights.

Firefighting crews from multiple cities responded to Col's Family Restaurant at 12 Mile and Stephenson Highway, but the good news is that there were no injuries.

 One of the four employees told FOX 2 he was cooking some gyros and stepped away for a moment to wash his hands. When he came back the rotisserie had caught fire. That spread through the exhaust fan, may have come into contact with oil and spread through the exhaust chute. 

The fire happened at about 4:30 p.m. when six people were inside, including two customers.

"I was cooking the gyro then I turned my back because they were greasy," said Sam Zeeto, an employee. "I came and saw the thing was on fire. I tried to put it out and couldn't. Then we went out and saw the whole roof was on fire. We just (ran) for our lives."

At 6 p.m. fire crews were still working on remaining hot spots. FOX 2 is told that the exhaust hood in the kitchen is supposed to be cleaned out every six months and inspected every year. 

Zeeto said they cannot remember or don't know when the last time it was inspected but said it was cleaned out last week.