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KCKFD battles blaze at Spanish Gardens Taco House

'We like it hot, but not that hot'
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Posted at 3:32 PM, Feb 18, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department battled a blaze Sunday afternoon at the Spanish Gardens Taco House in the 2300 block of Metropolitan Avenue.

Crews received the call shortly before 2 p.m. and noted heavy smoke was "visible from a distance," per KCKFD spokesperson Scott Schaunaman.

Schaunaman shared around 3 p.m. the fire's status had been upgraded to a third alarm.

“We have evacuated the structure and we are fighting the fire defensively from the exterior,” Schaunaman said.

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After initially attacking the blaze from the interior, a defensive strategy was used once "conditions deteriorated."

Crews then set up an aerial apparatus with elevated master streams to "deliver copious amounts of water onto the fire."

By around 5:15 p.m., Schaunaman said the fire was knocked down and crews were inside extinguishing hot spots.

"The fire is currently under control, and efforts are underway to remove cardboard material from the warehouse portion of the building, utilizing a forklift," Schaunaman said. "Fortunately, the business was closed today, and no workers were inside during the incident. Importantly, no firefighters have been reported injured at this time."

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, crews continued to extinguish hot spots.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

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In 1968, Luis Silva, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, grew his Argentine neighborhood restaurant into the 20,000-square-foot taco house. Now, his three daughters are keeping his legacy alive.

“Today, Spanish Gardens is a successful women and minority-owned manufacturing and distribution business continuing Luis’ tradition of quality,” according to Spanish Gardens’ website.

Second-generation owner Jean Miller said while the family likes their sauce hot, they don't like it "that hot."

But on a more serious note, the family business released a statement thanking KCKFD for the department's quick response and the KCK community for its support.

"We have been a proud pillar in the Argentine community for over 50 years," Spanish Gardens shared in a statement. "... While this is an unfortunate incident, we are committed to rebuilding and coming back stronger than before. The outpouring of support from our community has been overwhelming and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Spanish Gardens confirmed the product is stored in another facility, so there is no immediate impact to the supply chain.