Winona firefighters responded to a blaze at Chula Vista just in time. An electrical issue with neon lights drapped below the Highway 61 restaurant’s roof overheated and ignited the exterior of the building, Winona Fire Department (WFD) Assistant Chief Jim Malthaup explained. A passer-by on the highway reported the fire at 12:24 a.m. on Sunday, June 30. In four minutes, WFD crews were on the scene. Twenty-five firefighters in total responded and quickly extinguished the nascent fire before much damage to the structure was incurred.
The fire was on the verge of spreading to the interior of the building’s attic. Malthaup said, “It was very close. A couple minutes later and we would have had a lot of fire in that attic.”
By 2:20 a.m. WFD crews cleared the scene. No one was at the restaurant at the time of the blaze. No one was hurt.