Fire temporarily shuts down Peel Pizza in O’Fallon, IL

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O’FALLON, IL (KTVI) - A mysterious fire shut down the popular Peel restaurant and Brew Pub in O'Fallon, Illinois.

One minute everything was fine and seconds later the back of the building was on fire, said restaurant co-owner, Patrick Thirion.

It happened that fast.  It started in a dumpster.  Minutes later, there was another dumpster fire, right down the street.

You’d never know from looking at sign out front or the main entrances.

But repeat customers Wayne and Sandy Greywe only got as far the door, Monday afternoon.

That door was locked.  There was a sign in the window.

“It says closed due to fire,” Wayne said.

“I didn’t even see the sign,” said Sandy.

They didn’t see the back of the building, either.

There were about 40-50 customers in the Sunday lunch crowd, Thirion said.  The fire seemed to come out of nowhere.

“That’s when the fire alarm went off – evacuated the building…the blaze happened so quick on the (security) cameras.  It happened in a matter of seconds from nothing to a fire.  It happened very quickly,” Thirion said.

The fire started in a dumpster and spread into the rear wall of the building.

The damage wasn’t as bad as it looked, Thirion said.

The main restaurant, kitchen, and more than 1700 gallons of freshly brewed beer were spared.

So, Thirion hoped to reopen within two weeks.

“It’s a very popular place.  A lot of people come here,” Sandy Greywe said.

“Yes we were very lucky.  Most of it was contained to what you see right here.  The fire department did a great job of keeping it contained out here,” Thirion said.

The cause was still a mystery.

“We’re hoping to figure it out,” he said.

The fire chief said he didn’t consider the fire suspicious though the exact cause was still unknown.

The fire in the second dumpster down the block was more of a smoldering, ignited by rags used for staining wood, he said.