Investigators: Restaurant fire caused by 'spontaneous ignition'

Investigators: Restaurant fire caused by 'spontaneous ignition' »Play Video
Courtesy of Candi Winkler
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The fire that damaged Geppetto's Italian Bistro and Deli early Wednesday morning started from towels recently taken out of a dryer, according to investigators.

The towels were washed and dried before being put into a bag just before closing, according to the Yakima Fire Department. Traces of vegetable oil preheated by the clothes dryer somehow created the flames.

Crews worked for more than three hours to put out the fire. The roof of Geppetto's caved in where ventilation units were located.

Investigators were extra cautious because air conditioning units hung from the ceiling.

The business is temporarily closed. Owners told KIMA they want to get back in business as soon as possible.

"It's going to take some time. We hope customers value what we do and come back so that's all you can do is try and do your best, get back in business," said owner Dick Paddock.

Crews were able to save the Shopkeeper from any flames. That business is located in the building as well.