Fire leaves substantial smoke damage at Larkspur

WICHITA — Towels in a commercial dryer overheated early this morning in the back of the Larkspur, igniting a small fire that caused extensive smoke damage in one of Old Town's business anchors.

Police officers patrolling the area noticed smoke coming from the building at 904 E. Douglas shortly after 12:30 a.m. today.

Firefighters forced entry through the front door and found smoke throughout the building, Capt. Stuart Bevis said. They discovered a fire in a back room where a dryer had been drying towels.

"The fire was contained to a pretty small area," Bevis said, but smoke damage to the business was substantial.

Bevis set the damage estimate at $150,000 — most of it smoke damage — and said the restaurant is likely to be closed for a while because of the amount of cleanup that will be needed.