Kitchen fire damages Bennington businesses

Published On: Mar 31 2014 01:17:56 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 03 2014 06:09:44 PM CDT

A malfunctioning chicken pressure fryer is to blame for a fire that damaged two businesses in Bennington earlier this week.

Westside Ventures Café and a convenience store caught fire Monday morning.

Owners of the downtown businesses tell our news partners at the Salina Journal they plan to re-build.

The community is stepping up to help, more than $1,300 has been raised online. Click here to donate.

Donations are also being accepted at any Bennington State Bank location.


Fire crews were called to a business fire in downtown Bennington Monday.

The kitchen at Westside Venture Cafe & Convenience Store caught fire with around eight people inside.

A firefighter was among the customers. Tony Swetson of Ottawa County Rural Fire District Four noticed the fire and called it in.

"Went inside and sat down for a cup of coffee and started to smell a funny smell," Swetson said. "Got up and stepped and saw the flames and got on my radio to call for the fire department."

Fire crews from Ottawa County, Saline County, Delphos and Minneapolis were called to the scene. It took around fifteen minutes to knock out the fire.

The building suffered heavy smoke damage.

No one was hurt.