Fire closes popular Jefferson City Diner

Jefferson City firefighters responded to a structure fire at a restaurant in eastern Jefferson City early Thursday morning.

When they got to Oscar's Diner on Shotthill Road, firefighters saw heavy smoke.

They were able to extinguish the fire and contain the fire to the kitchen area, which suffered heavy damage.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire.

Surveillance video revealed that the fire began in the back prep room, which is where vegetables were prepped and the ovens were located. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although the owner thinks it was electrical. The Jefferson City Fire Department does not consider the fire suspicious.

The restaurant will be closed for an undetermined amount of time. The owners have promised to reopen.

Damage is estimated at $150,000, and between 35 and 45 people are now out of a job. Oscar's Diner opened nine years ago, and the owner said most of the employees have been there "forever."

The owners are currently waiting for a new insurance adjuster to visit. The restaurant was fully insured.

The following was posted to the Oscar's Classic Diner Facebook page about 12 hours after the fire:

"So greatly appreciate all of you wonderful folks. The support and well wishes have been very touching. We are meeting with experts soon, regarding our fire recovery plan. Thanks so much for your prayers for us, and for our amazing employees. The welfare of our STAFF is our main concern. We are working to get a handle on this soon..."