AURORA — The kitchen at the Aurora Inn and Event Center has been temporarily knocked out of service by a fire, which took place there on Feb. 25.

The Aurora Fire Department received a call to respond at 11:11 p.m. that evening to a fire Aurora Fire Chief David Barnes said was extinguished quickly with a pressurized water fire extinguisher.

Although the kitchen is currently closed, Aurora Inn and Event Center General Manager Ami Gignac said the restaurant’s kitchen crew will operate out of a food truck as the kitchen and kitchen equipment is cleaned or replaced during restoration during the coming weeks. She said the food truck operation should be up and running sometime in the next several days.

"This fire is not a setback for the Aurora Inn," she said. "It is a challenge that has proved that we are truly a team that is passionate about serving our community and continuing the operation of this historic business. We quickly navigated this crisis with strength, creativity, and the commitment to succeed."

Barnes said he wasn’t sure how costly the damages would be.

Although the fire was not major, there was minor heat damage and smoke damage throughout areas of the kitchen, which Gignac said will need to be cleaned up.

"The damage to the kitchen and equipment was minimal, but the kitchen will remain closed for several weeks for cleanup," she said. "The fire department and Aurora Inn management took every precaution to ensure the safety of the guests and employees. There were no injuries."

During the time the staff operates out of the food truck, she said they will offer a limited menu but continue serving.

"We’re OK on every event in the future, even a luncheon for 50 people," said Gignac. "We’re going to make that work."

Barnes said the fire was "appears to" have been caused by recently laundered kitchen rags that spontaneously combusted. The little bit of oil left in them after washing may have been enough of an accelerant to ignite in combination with the heat of the dryer.

Although there are special detergents meant for kitchen laundry, Gignac said she plans to launder the kitchen rags and other items used in the kitchen off site in the future. She said the Aurora Inn was fortunate all the smoke damage was contained within the kitchen, much of which she hopes can be cleaned rather than replaced.

Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, bgaetjens@recordpub.com or @bobgaetjens_rpc.