Roaster fire clears Lakota Coffee, no damage to building

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COLUMBIA - A Lakota Coffee roaster caught on fire on Monday morning, forcing staff and customers to evacuate, but the building itself was not damaged. 

According to Assistant Chief Brad Frazier, the Columbia Fire Department responded to the call at 11:34 a.m.

"Crews arrived and found pretty heavy smoke inside the building and coming from the roof. We found after a little investigation that the fire was contained to a roaster inside Lakota Coffee," he said. 

Frazier said they were able to get the smoke out of the building and there was no damage to the structure.

He said they try to take extra care when dealing with incidents downtown.

"Some of the unique challenges are that the sidewalks are very active, so if we have a working fire in a building downtown we have to take all those things into account. Try to keep the public away and keep them safe," Frazier said. 

Frazier said the Columbia Fire Department evacuated Lakota for 20 to 30 minutes, but it was open for business again a short time later.