Fire damaged the Wendy’s restaurant near Brookside early Sunday morning.

The fire began just as the fast-food eatery in Chestnut Hill Plaza was closing for the night at 1 a.m. It started in the kitchen and spread to the duct work and roof, according to A.J. Schall, a deputy chief with Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Company.

Firefighters from Aetna and several surrounding fire companies arrived to find the restaurant filled with smoke and fire inside a piece of cooking equipment. They had to smash a window to gain entry because the door had locked as employees ran out of the restaurant, he added.

The fire was under control within 20 minutes, Schall said. No one was injured.

As the firefighters worked, three Wendy’s employees stood in the parking lot, one still holding the restaurant’s cash drawer.

“All we saw was flames and we had to rush out,” said one employee, who declined to give her name.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze, though the employees said it started in a deep fryer.

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