Firefighters investigate smoke smell at Madison’s

Jefferson City firefighters climb to the roof of Madison's on Tuesday evening, where they determined it was a failed motor on a heating unit that caused the restaurant to fill with a smoky smell. There was no fire.

Jefferson City firefighters climb to the roof of Madison's on Tuesday evening, where they determined it was a failed motor on a heating unit that caused the restaurant to fill with a smoky smell. There was no fire. Photo by News Tribune.

A slight smell of smoke at Madison’s Cafe summoned numerous fire trucks to downtown Jefferson City on Tuesday night, but firefighters ultimately determined it was a failed motor that caused the problem.

“It was the motor on an air-handling unit that supplied heat to the back dining room,” Assistant Chief Lonnie Brandt confirmed.

Even as firefighters climbed up to the roof to examine the building’s five air-handling units, diners continued to eat their meals and chat at the bar.

Manager Sandy Matt remained unperturbed by events.

“It takes a lot to faze me,” she said.

She lamented rumors on Facebook about a possible fire may have discouraged some customers. The crowd in the restaurant was already much smaller than usual because of Tuesday’s snowstorm.

“That’s the trouble with Facebook,” she said.

Brandt said electrical workers were able to shut off power to the motor, which will be fixed today.

“There is no health or safety issue at all … no contamination,” Brandt said. “The business is open.”

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