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By Devin Rose
An unattended grill at Autre Monde Café in Berwyn caused a fire Thursday morning that damaged the building's exterior and could keep the restaurant closed for a couple of months, the city's fire chief said.
According to Chief Denis O'Halloran, there was "pretty significant damage" to the outside of the building at 6727 W. Roosevelt Road. The fire department got a call shortly after 11:30 a.m. that the fire had started in an exterior rear corner next to the unattended grill. They brought in additional help from departments in Oak Park, Cicero, Forest Park and North Riverside.
O'Halloran said the accidental fire traveled to the siding and a fence before it was put out at about 12:20 p.m. The department made holes in the roof to let smoke out. The building also sustained water damage, the chief said. One Berwyn firefighter was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion as the temperature was nearly 100 degrees.
Restaurant staff were starting the day but there were no customers in the restaurant, O'Halloran said. He estimated the reconstruction would take a couple months.
Autre Monde is owned by Oak Parkers John Aranza and Christine Tully Aranza. In a statement Monday, Tully Aranza said they were relieved that no one was injured and they are working with recovery experts to determine how long they'll be closed.