A fire broke out at 9:13 p.m. Friday at one of Novgorod's upscale restaurants, Ilmen, the regional fire department reported.
According to preliminary information, the fire was caused by inflammation in a smoke duct leading from the restaurant's hall where meat was grilled directly on the premises. Flames from the duct made their way to the roof, setting on fire the ceiling, the attic, and the roof.
None of the staff or the visitors suffered from the fire -- all of them managed to quickly leave the building.
The incident tested the restaurant personnel's ability to act in emergencies and the clients' probity. Each visitor could, taking advantage of the commotion, have left without paying their bills. But the restaurant said that it had no trouble with its clientele in the fire's wake.
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