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Bacari Grill Evacuated Overnight As Fire Extinguished

Oven blaze considered accidental, fire chief says

Washington Township firefighters extinguished an oven fire, while police evacuated Bacari Grill just after midnight Sunday.

Jim Kourgelis, who owns the restaurant at 800 Ridgewood Road with John Amoratis, said Bacari Grill was open for business as usual Sunday after official inspections.

Kourgelis said he reported the smell of smoke shortly after midnight. Police responded, with township firefighters arriving soon after.

Fifteen to 20 customers and staffers were evacuated as firefighters checked out the building.

Fire Chief Christopher Meier said about 25 volunteer firefighters extinguished a blaze in the floor under the oven and in the wall behind it. The Paramus Fire Department stood by in the township firehouse during the incident.

Meier said the restaurant suffered minor damage in the kitchen, as firefighters opened an exterior wall to extinguish the fire.

The blaze is considered accidental, officials said.

Kourgelis said police and firefighters responded quickly to his call. "They did a wonderful job," he added.

Bacari, which serves contemporary American cuisine, has been open nearly a decade. It has a restaurant, lounge and banquet hall.

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