Fire at South City restaurant caused by cigarette placed in flower basket, owner says

A south St. Louis City building was heavily damaged after a fire broke out on the roof of Vin De Set restaurant early Monday morning.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 11:17 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2022 at 5:35 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A south St. Louis City building was heavily damaged after a fire broke out on the roof of Vin De Set restaurant on September 19. Monday night, the owner said the fire started after three customers left cigarettes in a hanging flower basket.

St. Louis firefighters responded to the fire in the 2000 block of Chouteau at about 4 a.m. Crews said that when they arrived there was heavy fire showing from the rooftop patio of the restaurant.

Paul Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Hospitality, which includes Vin De Set, told News 4 the damage is “pretty bad, especially the water damage throughout the entire building.” He also said they would get through it but it will be a while.

The company’s website released this statement the day of the fire.

Due to a fire, Monday morning at Vin de Set, PW Pizza and 21st Street Brewers bar will be temporarily closed for cleaning. Vin de Set was heavily damaged and will be closed indefinitely. We’ll update everyone via social and our newsletter when each venue will open back up. Hamilton’s Urban Steakhouse, Winnie’s Wine Bar and Eleven Eleven Mississippi remain open and unaffected. If you’re looking to help us through this difficult time, please visit any of our other restaurants or purchase a gift card. Vin de Set holds a special place in the hearts of us all.

Nobody was injured. Monday night, owner Paul Hamilton said the manufacturer of Vin De Set’s DVR was able to recover security footage that showed three customers smoking cigarettes in a non-smoking area on the day of the fire. The three then placed the cigarettes in a hanging flower basket at the spot where the fire started. 20 minutes later, the basket caught on fire, he says.