Downtown restaurant evacuated for cooking vent fire

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A downtown restaurant was evacuated Tuesday night for a fire in a cooking vent that caused minimal smoke damage, according to a release from the Madison Fire Department.

Fire crews were called to Merchant restaurant at 121 S. Pinckney St. around 9:30 p.m. for reports of a fire in the cooking vent, officials said.

When firefighters arrived, they found an employee trying to use a water can fire extinguisher to put out a fire in an outside duct, according to the release.

Fire crews evacuated the restaurant, and checked the second level and duct work to make sure the fire didn’t spread, officials said.

The restaurant sustained minimal smoke damage, and the building was not damaged, according to the release. The health department was notified for a routine check after the fire.