Darrell Derouen, owner of Darrell’s, walks over shattered pieces of glasses as he enters the building on Sunday. Fire fighters had to break the doors to put out an early morning fire. (Pankaj Khadka / American Press)
According to Darrelll's employees, this ice machine malfunctioned and started the fire last night. (Pankaj Khadka / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, May 07, 2012 1:13 PM
A fire at Darrell’s on West College Street was put out quickly early Sunday morning after the Lake Charles Fire Department responded to a call that smoke was coming from the back of the building.
The call came in at 2:12 a.m. and the fire was out by 2:30 a.m., said District Chief Tommy Thomas, who was on the scene.
“We had to make forceful entry — broke the glass door, and we cut the overhead door,” he said. “From there we found the root of the fire which was an ice machine in the warehouse. We were able to keep it from spreading to the bar side.”
He said there was heavy smoke showing on all sides when the fire department arrived, but the fire has already began burning itself out.
“If the ice machine had gotten more air, it would have really burned,” he said. “For the side of the building where the fire occurred there was minimal damage besides the doors being broken down.”
Darrell’s, well-known for its poboys, is owned by Darrell Derouen. Derouen said someone next door just so happened to be taking the trash out when he noticed smoke.
“He called one of my managers and my manager subsequently called the fire department,” he said. “We weren’t lucky that we had a fire, but we were definitely fortunate that we were able to get help there so fast. We could have lost the whole building.”
He said another positive aspect was that the fire did not effect the operating part of Darrell’s and was contained in the warehouse.
Cody Cahanin, bar manager at Darrell’s, said there did not seem to be any major damage from the fire but there was a considerable amount of smoke damage, he said.
“It took the fire department about three hours to get everything checked out and secured to where we were able to come in and assess the damage,” he said.
Derouen said Darrell’s will be closed until further notice.