Fire investigators believe fat-stained rags left in a dryer are behind an early morning fire at a west-central Edmonton restaurant.

Firefighters first arrived at the Smokehouse BBQ restaurant; in the area of 108 Avenue and 124 Street at about 6 a.m. Wednesday – the fire was declared out at about 8:15 a.m.

Later on, investigators said greasy, fat-stained rags self-heated and then burst into flames inside a laundry room dryer.

It’s believed the fire spread to the roof of the building, and caused significant fire and smoke damage to the building.

Damages have been pegged at about $500,000.

No one was inside at the time of the blaze.