Fire Damages Restaurant

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KANAWHA CITY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A fire at the Kanawha Mall in Charleston damaged a local restaurant.

The fire broke out around 11:30pm Tuesday night inside the kitchen of the China Buffet.

Firefighters say someone spotted smoke coming from the mall's roof and called 911.

Firefighters say the fire was contained to the restaurant, but thick smoke was found throughout the mall.

Investigators say the fire started in the cooking area, but they're still looking for the exact cause. Firefighters spent much of Wednesday morning back at the scene.

We're told a sprinkler did activate and contain the fire to the restaurant, but the restaurant's other fire protection system didn't function properly. Firefighters say this is why their inspections are so important and owners need to follow up to make sure the systems are maintained.

Ken Tyree says if the China Buffet's system would have worked the restaurant would have only had a little mess to clean up Wednesday.

The China Buffet is now closed while the owners make the necessary repairs, but the Kanawha Mall is open.

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