Fire crews from White Rock and Surrey battled a fire in a vacant restaurant on Marine Drive this morning.

White Rock crews responded to the call from doormen at a nearby bar around 1:40 a.m. 

"We saw the flames come from the restaurant," said Nick Czubak, who was working at the Sandpiper Pub across the street on Marine Drive.

SANDPIPER PUB WHITE ROCK DOORMEN

Stephon Ameerali, left, and Nick Czubak, right, work as doormen at the Sandpiper Pub on Marine Drive. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"It was pretty big," said doorman Stephon Ameerali. "The flames were coming over the building, up to the trees."

Ameerali and Czubak ran to the front and back sides of the building to make sure no one was caught in the fire.

"There were a few people walking back on the tracks," said Ameerali. "I just told them to get clear of the area."

"I saw the back of the building, everything was engulfed."

WHITE ROCK FIRE BUILDING

Doormen at the Sandpiper Pub said they saw large flames coming from the restaurant on the right, in the 15700 block of Marine Drive in White Rock. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Fast response

White Rock firefighters were able to knock the fire down quickly, after arriving on scene around 2 a.m.

SURREY FIRE BATTALION CHIEF ANDY GEORGE

Battalion Chief Andy George says the investigation into the restaurant fire has been handed over to police. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"It looks like it was a small fire in the rear of the building," said Battalion Chief Andy George of Surrey Fire Service. "We're unsure of what started it."

George would not comment on whether the fire was suspicious or not, but said the investigation has been handed over to the RCMP.