The popular City Diner on the 700 block of Water Street downtown was evacuated Wednesday night after an electrical panel on the outside of the building caught fire.
The flames were put out in a matter of minutes, but it will be a while before the restaurant reopens.
An employee noticed the flames and told the owner, whose first reaction was to get everyone out of the building.
"As I was walking, the breaker was flickering and I started turning off the breakers, and I heard a sound like fire crackers," City Diner owner Sofie said.
The sparks spread through the power lines, which are underground, so the employees said smoke was literally coming up from underneath the sidewalks. Before fire crews got there, a couple of employees grabbed fire extinguishers to try and stop the blaze from spreading.
Once the fire department arrived, it was out in a matter of minutes.
Because it is a concrete building, the flames didn't penetrate through the walls, so nothing was damaged inside.
"They will have to shut down the bus, probably be closed for a while," Battalion Chief Jackie Burrows of the Corpus Christi Fire Department said. "They're going to have to replace the electric panel and lines underneath the street here."
Fire officials said the owner is very lucky, especially considering the gas line is right next to the electrical panel. The good news is they do have insurance and once the necessary repairs are made, the owner said she will let us know when they reopen.
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