Fire broke out early Tuesday morning in the Dairy Queen on Badger Street.
Co-owner Paul Mayou, who lives about a block from the restaurant, said the fire triggered a motion alarm that resulted in him receiving a call about a possible burglary.
“I was walking up the block and saw smoke coming out of the exhaust units on the building,” Mayou said.
Waupaca firefighters were called to the scene at approximately 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, March 29.
“We made entry through the back door and found the fire in the kitchen prep area by a freezer,” according to Waupaca Fire Chief Jeff Olson.
Although it’s still under investigation, Olson said the fire started on top of the freezer and may have been caused by the equipment.
Olson said firefighters opened up a wall and part of the ceiling to attack the fire. They were at the scene for nearly two hours.
“The entire building suffered smoke and heat damage and there was water damage in the kitchen area,” Olson said.
Mayou is currently working with his insurance provider and vendors to replace damaged equipment and repair the restaurant. He said he did not know how long it would be before he could reopen the Dairy Queen.
“The damage inside was extensive, but most of it was confined to one area and there was no structural damage,” Mayou said.