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Fire damages Cattails Bar & Grill

MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER Gretchen Wagner, owner of Cattails Bar and Grill, points out a broiler Monday afternoon that caused a kitchen fire Sunday morning that spread to the ceiling.

BEMIDJI — Cattails Bar & Grill sustained more than $30,000 in damage from a kitchen fire reported Sunday morning.

The Bemidji Fire Department responded to the popular bar and restaurant just after 7:30 a.m. Employees detected a fire in a broiler, and when firefighters arrived on seen, smoke was exiting the building, with the fire spreading to the roof.

Firefighters quickly contained and extinguished the fire, according to a press release from the department. Fifteen firefighters used two fire engines, a water tender and a ladder truck to fight the fire, officials said. No injuries were reported.

The fire caused an estimated $32,500 in damage to structure and contents, officials said. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but does appear to be accidental and cooking-related. Cattails owner Gretchen Wagner confirmed in a prepared statement Monday morning that the fire was accidental and started around a broiler.

“Thanks to the quick response from the Bemidji Fire Department and Beltrami County Sherriff’s (Department), it was contained to the kitchen only,” she said. “I just want to thank the community, family, friends for the amazing outreach that was shown to me. Continued prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”

Wagner said Cattails was closed and would remain so until it could comply with state safety guidelines. There will be progress updates on Facebook and the restaurant’s website, she said.

The Fire Department was assisted on the scene by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Bemidji Ambulance Service, Minnesota Energy Resources and Otter Tail Power Co.