A fire gutted Luna Tortilla factory in northwest Dallas this morning. Owner Fernando Luna said he first smelled the smoke about 10:30 a.m., but initially the odor was mistaken as an over-toasted tortilla or a grill running too hot. As the smell got stronger, so did Luna's curiosity about its source. He checked the vent hoods and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Then smoke started to fill the building.
When he walked outside smoke was pouring from the roof vents. Luna says he ran back in to clear his employees from the building and then called the fire department. Nobody was hurt, but the building where Luna makes tortillas for customers and for his restaurant across the street was totaled.
"I don't think we'll be able to salvage anything," Luna said. The roof of the building is gone, and a metal Luna's sign lay in the parking lot, blackened by the heat. The fire department is investigating the cause of the fire, and then the building will be razed. Luna hopes to start construction of a new factory immediately.
Restaurante Luna's, however, will remain open. While Luna said today's lunch service was affected by the army of fire trucks that filled the adjacent parking lot, his restaurant will be open for dinner tonight.
It's likely going to be a busy evening. Luna says he's received hundreds of phone calls from family and friends, customers and even a few of his competitors -- all of them asking what they can do to help.