Gates BBQ Fire

A worker cleaning the fire pit at the Gates Bar-B-Q in Independence accidentally ignited the blaze that destroyed the decades-old restaurant, fire officials said Wednesday.

The fast-moving blaze was reported just after 1 a.m. Tuesday at 10440 E. U.S. 40. The worker immediately called 911 and escaped unharmed. The blaze started in the exhaust system duct work above a grill and quickly spread throughout the structure.