Thirty customers were evacuated from a Chinese restaurant in San Ramon that caught fire Christmas night.
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District battalion chief Dan McNamara said the two-alarm fire was first reported at 7 p.m. at Uncle Yu's at 2005 Crow Canyon Place, near I-680.
The first firefighters to arrive saw the customers evacuating and smoke rising from the business, which is part of a single-story strip mall.
One person suffered smoke inhalation but declined medical care, McNamara said.
Firefighters kept the fire from spreading beyond the kitchen and attic areas. The kitchen exhaust system sustained extensive damage.
The fire started on the stove as employees were cooking. Workers tried to extinguish it, but it grew too big for them to handle, according to
Smoke damaged the businesses on each side of Uncle Yu's. The restaurant will be closed for a while, McNamara said.
The San Ramon Uncle Yu's has a location in Lafayette and is advertising an expansion to Pleasanton.
Curiously, the Uncle Yu's damaged in the San Ramon fire and the one with the same name in Lafayette and soon to be opened in Pleasanton, apparently have no relation to the popular Uncle Yu's in downtown Livermore, owned and operated by Nick Liang.
That restaurant, officially called Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard, is located at 39 S. Livermore Ave.
"I am the one who used to manage both the ones in San Ramon and Lafayette before I came down to open this one (in Livermore) with Jennifer Yu 10 years ago," Liang said. "Since then I have never gone back and I don’t have any control over what they do there anymore. Two years ago Jennifer retired and I took over the whole restaurant myself. I am just concentrating on this one."
"Obviously, there is much confusion out there," Liang added. "If you would look into the website - uncleyusvineyard.com, which is our official website for our restaurant in Livermore, you will not see anything like opening another restaurant anywhere. Pay attention to their official restaurant name and you will see it is not even Uncle Yu’s, but someone’s name + Yu."