Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fire at Kenny's Peruvian Chicken

Story by Four Corners resident Joe Fox 

Most Four Corners residents know that it's rarely a good thing to wake up to the news helicopter hanging out over the neighborhood for an extended period of time.  This time, it was a building fire in Four Corners.  Around 5:30 this morning, the Montgomery Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to a fire on the NW corner of Colesville and University, occupied by the Red Maple Restaurant, Authentic Peruvian Charcoal Chicken, 4 Corners Sports Pub, Free State Press, and various other small businesses, with smoke rising through the roof.  Firefighters entered the buildings through the roof.

The fire was initially reported on the news as occurring at Red Maple, but on-scene reports corrected it to be at the Peruvian Chicken Restaurant.  I stopped by the scene just before 8 AM, and the area was calm, one lane was still blocked on both University and Colesville Roads (did we mention the traffic jam this caused on Colesville?)

The Peruvian Chicken Restaurant sustained the vast majority of the damage here, and despite earlier reports, Red Maple looks to have gotten off easier than first expected.  Notice this picture, the white facade divides the two restaurants:

When I arrived, MCFRS had fans set up to clear the smoke out of the Peruvian Chicken restaurant, which was largely gutted inside.

The front door.  Photos by Joe Fox unless otherwise noted.
The interior.

The front door to Red Maple was still locked, but from looking inside the restaurant from the front, you would not know that there had been a massive fire right next door.  There is almost certainly damage to the roof, HVAC units, and possibly some water damage towards the back, but it appears Red Maple may have gotten lucky here.  Huge credit obviously goes to MCFRS for doing a great job, as they always do.

The front of the building.
Firefighters and Tower Ladder 719 from Montgomery Hills at the rear of the structure. 
Air Unit 716, a truck that refills firefighter oxygen bottles, was brought to the scene on a precautionary second alarm.

Longtime local residents may remember a similar fire in 2008, at the beloved El Pollo Rico in Wheaton.  This was later blamed on a build up of grease in the air ducts at the restaurant catching fire, and it happened almost the same time of day.  I was told by someone at the scene that this restaurant had been ordered to either clean or replace some of their ductwork to avoid this about two months ago, and that it takes about two months for enough grease to build up to make these types of fire a hazard.  Presumably, this will be a big part of the investigation.


  1. Sean, do you have an update on the exact cause of this yet?

  2. Oh that was a horrible fire and we can't resist it by our self. We definitely need online emergency services to tackle this problem immediately. http://expressemergency.com/facts-flood-damage/