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Fire causes significant damage to Worthington restaurant

The exterior of the King's Work restaurant -- formerly Michael's Steakhouse - is shown Saturday afternoon following a fire early Saturday morning. (RYAN McGAUGHEY/DAILY GLOBE)1 / 4
Chandeliers remain hanging Saturday inside The King's Wok - formerly Michael's Steakhouse - following a middle-of-the-night blaze at the restaurant. (RYAN McGAUGHEY/DAILY GLOBE)2 / 4
Fire damage inside The King's Wok is shown following an early morning fire Saturday. Firefighters believe the fire may have originated in the women's restroom. (RYAN McGAUGHEY/DAILY GLOBE)3 / 4
An empty table sits vacant Saturday afternoon at the King's Work restaurant following an overnight blaze. (RYAN McGAUGHEY/DAILY GLOBE)4 / 4

WORTHINGTON -- An early morning fire caused significant damage to The King’s Wok restaurant, formerly Michael’s Steakhouse, in Worthington Saturday.

Worthington Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Chris Cummings said firefighters were paged just before 3 a.m. after a witness reported smoke coming from the building.

“On arrival, it was starting to vent out of the roof,” Cummings said, adding that while firefighters primarily saw smoke on arrival, small flames soon began shooting through the roof.

“It had been working for a while,” he said.

The stone facade on the north side of the building had to be partially torn out to gain access to the fire, which is believed to have started in the area of the women’s restroom or in a small meeting room in the basement, Cummings said.

“The women’s restroom floor is totally gone,” he said. “There’s about three feet of water in the basement.”

Firefighters fought the blaze from the basement, working their way up to the main level of the Chinese restaurant. The owner arrived within 15 minutes of the fire call, and assisted firefighters in gaining access through the front doors.

Approximately 30 firefighters battled the blaze, said Cummings, adding that the department’s fleet of fire trucks were on the scene. It was the second fire in which the department was able to use its aerial truck.

Crews were on the scene until about 7 a.m., and Cummings said no one was injured.

The cold weather did create some issues with battling the fire, mostly with firefighter gear freezing up.

“The parking lot is a sheet of ice right now,” he said on Saturday.

Cummings estimated the damage to the building at $150,000 or more as a result of the structural and water damage.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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