Gas Explosion at Frugals Restaurant in Missoula Tuesday Night
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - (UPDATED: 3:59pm 10/5/22) At about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, there was a gas explosion inside Frugals Drive-In restaurant located on Brooks.
KGVO News spoke to Fire Investigator Jamie Porter with the Missoula City Fire Department, who described what happened inside the restaurant that had closed for the night.
“Frugals (restaurant) had a little bit of an incident last night,” began Porter. “We had basically a failure, possibly of one of the gas fittings, so natural gas, and filled up the building until it found a good ignition point and they had a bit of an explosion.”
Porter provided more details about the late-night gas explosion.
“These commercial kitchen systems, they typically have a gas shut off as part of their fire suppression system and that did its job, so the gas was shut off,” she said. “It was a momentary event and just a little bit of fine fuels were there that burned but our crews got on scene and took care of that, and right now we're still kind of investigating the whole event.”
Porter said there was sufficient structural damage that she believes the restaurant will have to close for repairs.
“The building was empty, fortunately, but there is definitely some structural damage,” she said. “I contacted one of our city building inspectors late last night and I know he went by early this morning to take a look at it just because there's some structural damage. When we were looking at it last night, there's probably about a two-inch gap from the roof to one of the walls, and that's after it settled. So, I'm not sure how far the roof actually lifted off during the event. They need to have some engineers take a look at that before they'll ever open again.”
The building was empty at the time of the explosion, so there were no reported injuries.
KGVO News has learned from Missoula City Fire Chief Gordy Hughes that there was a gas explosion that occurred at Frugal's Restaurant on Tuesday night at about 10:30 p.m.
We are awaiting a complete interview with the Fire Marshall that investigated the incident and will provide complete details as they become available.
Frugals is located on Brooks Street in Missoula.