The L&L Drive-In, a longstanding local favorite in this small Lower Valley city, burned to the ground Friday night, following an explosion inside the building.
The explosion occurred at 8:50 p.m. inside the tiny restaurant, which was carry-out only and had no inside seating. L&L, which had been at 645 E. Wine Country Road for decades, closes at 8 p.m. according to its Facebook page. People nearby reported the explosion, Grandview Fire Department Deputy Chief Dave Smith said.
“They heard an explosion and then (saw the) fire,” he said. “By the time I got there a few minutes later, the roof was caved in.”
The damage was done quickly, but it took Grandview and Prosser firefighters until 11 a.m. Saturday to completely extinguish the fire, because the roof collapse made accessing the fire difficult, Smith said. About 15 firefighters worked the scene.
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Smith did not know what caused the explosion, and it will be investigated, he said. The building is considered a total loss, though no monetary figure has been determined.
According to Yakima County records, the building was constructed in 1950. Smith did not know the owners’ names but said it had been operating as the L&L Drive-In for many years before he moved to Grandview in 1982. The county lists the property owner as Kevin Hurst, but it’s unclear whether he owned the business.
It was locally renowned for its burgers and ice cream.