A quick response by the Woodstock Fire Department saved a downtown restaurant and an adjacent boarding house from any significant damage.

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Firefighters responded to Dixie Lee Fried Chicken on Queen Street in Woodstock at around 11:30 Tuesday morning when an employee reported an odor of smoke in the building and flickering lights.

Woodstock Fire Chief Ricky Nicholson said staff and patrons were safely evacuated.  The source of the smoke was quickly traced to a faulty neutral ground wire which had sparked some small appliances in the kitchen.

The restaurant was closed while the building was ventilated and the necessary repairs were made. Dixie Lee re-opened for business by supper time.

While Woodstock Fire crews were still at the restaurant, Nicholson said, tenants from the adjacent Capital Square boarding house came down the stairs to report smoke throughout the building. The tenants of the three-story block were evacuated.

Chief Nicholson said crew members found heavy smoke on the second floor and determined it was coming from a locked apartment. Firefighters had to force open the door and discovered a pan had been left unattended on the stove.  The smoky blaze was extinguished and tenants were allowed back in the building about an hour later.

There were no injuries in either incident and Nicholson said the damage was minimal.