RAYMOND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A Mexican restaurant in Raymond was damaged by fire Wednesday afternoon.
The Windham Fire Department told NEWS CENTER no was hurt but the building suffered extensive damage. The building's owners say they and the owners of A La Mexicana have insurance.
The fire departments says the flames sprang up in the kitchen while workers were preparing for Wednesday's dinner service. Hot oil caught fire, then the fire spread towards the front of the building.
The two-alarm blaze prompteda 45-minute closure of Route 302 (Roosevelt Trail) from Whites Bridge Road in Windham to Route 85 (Webbs Mills Road) in Raymond.
Smoke was still seen coming from part of the restaurant's roof at least an hour after crews were first reported to have responded.
According to the building owners, other restaurants have called 1227 Roosevelt Trail home, but the family that owns A La Mexicana has "been the best."
Jose Manuel Chavez Mendoza, the business owner, says the fire's timing is bad because Cinco de Mayo, a big business day for the restaurant is only two weeks away, and the restaurant will have to stay closed.
"Cinco de mayo is coming soon and I spent, not a ton of money to prepare for it but I was ready," he said. "I'm really sad, that's it."
Mendoza says he hopes the town of Raymond allows him to put a food truck in the restaurant parking lot to carry the business over while he rebuilds.
He opens to reopen the restaurant in as little as ten weeks.