RICHLAND, Wash. - An early morning fire damaged the Isla Bonita Mexican restaurant in Richland.
It started around 2:40 AM Thursday morning. Crews say the fire started on the outside then spread throughout the building. They say the cause is still under investigation but they believe it started in an old flower pot. Firefighters say it's very common for people to put out their cigarettes in flower pots but a lot of times the cigarette is still burning. They say it's not a good idea to use pots as ashtrays because the soil and pot are very flammable.
"If they are going to smoke on the balcony or smoke outside of their homes, it would probably be smart to use some type of approved cigarette receptacle that's not flammable," said Keith Ramsay, Richland Firefighter.
The owner of Isla Bonita says the restaurant will be out of business for a few months but luckily they have fire insurance.