Timothy Hamlin was cooking ribs in a large smoker in the restaurant's kitchen when flames began shooting up. Unable to put out the fire, Hamlin grabbed his phone and ran outside.
"I called the owner to see what she wanted me to do. I knew there was a fire extinguisher but didn't know where it was. She told me to call 911 and that's what I did. It was pretty scary for a few minutes. This is the first fire I've ever been in," Hamlin told the BannerGraphic.
"I'm not sure if it was grease that made it flame up or not. I've only worked here a couple of weeks," added Hamlin.
Greencastle Firefighter John McPhearson said the fire department had only been on the scene for short while and the fire was out. Firefighters were using a fan to blow smoke out of the building through the back door.
"There was smoke pouring out the back of the building when we got here. But, there is only minor damage to the structure. The fire was contained to the cooking vessel. Those smokers are designed to hold heat and smoke on the outside," said McPhearson.
The owner Reah Griffin, was on her way to the facility from Greenfield. She owns two other BBQ restaurants in New Palestine and Greenfield.
In an interview with Griffin prior to opening the restaurant in January 2008 Griffin claimed, "I can stop traffic with it (the smell of BBQ)."
That was true today for a short while when police closed off U.S. 231 when the fire first started. Once firefighters secured the site the highway was opened back up.
The Smokin Hog BBQ is located in the old Charlie Brown building on U.S. 231 across from Roban Park