Speaker Fire Evacuates Customers from Lounge

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A fire in the sound system speakers forces dancers to evaucate and security officer saves major fire damage.

Around 12:15 Sunday morning, Lincoln Fire and Rescue were called to the El Charro restaurant at 221 South 9th Street.

According to a security guard for the restaurant, he and an employee smelled smoke but could not locate the source. Drew Smith said he kept looking and finally spotted flames coming from an amplified speaker mounted to the ceiling.

Smith said he told approximately 100 customers to leave the building and to call 911 while he went to get a fire extinguisher. Smith said the fire started to work its way up the wires into the ceiling and he just kept knocking it down until fire crews arrived.

Lincoln FIre Inspector Chuck Schweitzer said the fire started inside the speaker which was being used by the Disc Jockey and could have caused more damage to the building except for the use of the extinguisher.

Schweitzer estimates damage to be about $1,000. No food was being prepared near the fire or the damages could be more since it would have to be tossed out.