LUMBI CAMPBELL – The patrons of a popular restaurant in downtown Campbell River are shocked and saddened by the loss of a favorite sushi spot after it was engulfed in flames Sunday evening.
“I found out this morning around 6:30 (morning). My friend told me it was burnt. I was somewhat shocked about it because the Campbell River no longer has good places for sushi.” said longtime client Casey Nystrom.
“Restaurants is a favorite of many people, you can not beat it and just kind of suck,” added another customer, Chris Janicki.
“Unfortunately for Campbell River residents, we are down a sushi restaurant,” he said.
Crews responded to the fire at Miki’s Sesame Sushi on the Island Highway shortly after 10 a.m. after receiving several calls to 911 about the restaurant and the burning building.
“The first truck hit the scene, big smoke and fire (was) appearing from the second floor,” said Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty.
“The crews deployed several attack lines immediately from the outside, dropped the fire and we switched to an internal attack and stepped in to hit all the hot spots,” he said.
Doherty says 22 firefighters used two aircraft and three other fire units to fight the blaze, which was mostly confined to the restaurant kitchen area but was in danger of spreading.
“Being a restaurant, the hood system is ventilated in the roof area and so when we arrived we had fire appearing on the roof also through that exhaust system,” Doherty said.
A spray system inside the building helped prevent the fire from spreading, but contributed to some of the water damage experienced below the restaurant as smoke damage occurred above.
The building, located on block 800 of the Island Highway, is also home to an insurance broker, dental institution, teachers’ association and the Water Health Center research facility.
“We have sent some people with breathing apparatus and it is looking quite wet from water damage and smoke damage,” said interim director of the Center for Water Health, Jim Brackett.
Brackett says the center is just entering its busy season and that dozens of employees working there are now trying to think of ways to keep it running.
“It is not easy because we have energy demand and the testing has all been done under quality standards, so it is not as easy as finding square meters to settle. But we are optimistic,” he said.
Sophisticated center testing equipment will need to be removed from the building, dried in an facility, and then calibrated before being reused.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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