By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — A small fire at La Pita, 22681 Newman, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday caused an evacuation of customers and damage to an exterior sign but no injuries.
General Manager Mohamad Dbouk said the business was evacuated and without electricity for about an hour and a half while emergency crews and DTE worked.
“It was dinner time, so we had maybe 40 or 50 people inside the restaurant, but everybody understood what was happening and got out safely,” Dbouk said.
Dbouk said the fire began in an exterior sign and then fell onto a cloth awning that covers the front windows.
No damage occurred to the interior of the building.
Fire Chief Joseph Murray said six emergency vehicles responded to the scene and that the fire was small and quickly contained.
Murray also said that when emergency crews pulled the sign from the front of the building they observed that bird nests had been built inside of it but could not immediately determine whether or not they were the cause of the fire.
Dbouk said the fire damaged a section of the awning and left burn marks on the front of the building.
He said repair work would begin as soon as the damage is inspected by the restaurant’s insurance company and should not take long.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)