Carrie Rengers

El Mexico Cafe on South Seneca reopens following fire

A month after closing due to a fire, El Mexico Cafe at 2544 S. Seneca is reopening Friday for lunch and dinner and will be back to normal hours.

Owner Brent Helm says on Sept. 18, while the restaurant was closed, a dryer caught fire.

“Crazy as it is, it wasn’t even plugged in,” he says.

“It wasn’t a lot of damage structural-wise, but it was a lot of damage smoke-wise to the whole restaurant.”

Helm, who runs the business with his wife, Rhonda, and family, says being closed for a month is a tough financial hit for any small business.

He says he’s had “a lot of support,” though.

“A lot of letters, a lot of e-mails, a lot of coming by just to see how we’re doing. … Prayers. Everything.”

Helm says it’s changed how he’ll react when any other small business has a fire.

“If you’ve never had a fire, you have no idea what a person goes through.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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