Officials are investigating the cause of a fire that engulfed Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill on North IH-35 late Friday evening.
Trey Hatt, city spokesperson, said the San Marcos Fire Department received the report at 7:33 p.m. and firefighters arrived on the scene at 7:37 p.m. Hatt said flames were visible on the north side of the restaurant's roof. Fighting the fire quickly became a "defensive operation" as SMFD worked to save the structures around Bikinis. Hatt said there were no more visible flames by 8:15 p.m. EMS say there were no injuries.
Hatt said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Parts of Aquarena Springs Drive and IH-35 are closed as a result of the incident.
Bikinis manager Justin Villarreal said he noticed the dining room was full of smoke, but thought a trash can outside was on fire. He and a cook went outside the restaurant to look when they saw the flames coming through the building's roof. Villareal said he believes it could have been electrical fire because the smoke and flames were coming from the restaurant's roof. He said the building is more than 30 years old.
John Berry, who was eating at Bikinis when the fire started, said people inside the restaurant started to smell smoke, but could not see any. Berry said a bar-back saw smoke coming from the roof and 30 seconds later black smoke entered the restaurant through the air vents. He said everyone inside the restaurant was ushered out within a minute. Berry believes it was not a grease fire, as the smoke originated from the roof.
Frank Cell was eating on the patio at Bikinis when the fire started. Cell said he thought something was burning in the kitchen until the restaurant was evacuated about three minutes later. He said there was no commotion or panic.
Updates to come as more details become available.