If you walked in to Patti J's Cafe Sunday morning, as so many St. Michael-Albertville breakfast aficionados often do for a bit of brunch, you probably didn't notice a thing.
Except maybe for the smell of something burning on the grill.
Much, much earlier, however, the Albertville-based family restaurant dodged a real bullet.
Police were called to Patti J's around 2:20 a.m. Sunday for the site of smoke coming from the building, and an internal alarm.
After gaining access by breaking a window, a Wright County deputy discovered a grease fire on the grill back in the kitchen area. A small, metal pan had been smoking for some time, and eventually sparked a flame.
The deputy called for Albertville Fire, but was able to take care of most of the blaze with a simple fire extinguisher.
"Most of our guys have a couple of things in the trunk of their cruiser–an AED (defibrillator) device and a fire extinguisher," said Sheriff Joe Hagery of the Wright County Sheriff's Department. "Since we're often the first on the scene, it helps get things under control right away. They all (deputies) do a great job with it."
Both Albertville Fire and Wright County worked to ventilate the building, using fans.
Indeed, the quick response stopped the restaurant from receiving more damage, including triggering a release from the kitchen's hood system, which would have covered the cooking area with a powder. That, certainly, would have shut things down for a day.
Instead, the Patti J's crew spent Sunday morning cleaning up extinguisher residue, and kept things rolling.