An employee of a Mexican restaurant in Parkland accidentally sparked a fire today that destroyed the building.
The blaze was reported about 2 p.m. at Hacienda Real, 13021 Pacific Ave. Central Pierce Fire & Rescue crews responded but were quickly forced into defensive mode after flames reached the roof.
Crews used a propane weed burner earlier in the afternoon and then stored it in a back storage area of the restaurant. The hot nozzle ignited and employees quickly noticed smoke beneath a commercial refrigerator that backed up against the storage room, Assistant Chief Randy Stephens said.
The building was a total loss, with the value estimated at about $175,000.
Stephens said the building owner planned to sleep at the restaurant overnight until the insurance company can come out to secure the premises.