British Columbia

Overnight fire damages Mahek restaurant in Surrey

Surrey firefighters saved a restaurant from serious fire damage, early Thursday morning, but the business suffered significant water damage.

Fire crews arrived at Mahek Restaurant and Lounge to find a big fire burning from the roof area.

Firefighters used an aerial hose to quickly get the flames under control, Thursday morning. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Surrey firefighters saved a restaurant from serious fire damage, early Thursday morning, but the business suffered significant water damage inside, and an engineer will now have to assess the building's structural integrity.

The fire started  about 3 a.m. at Mahek Restaurant and Lounge in Panaroma Village Shopping Centre at 57 Avenue and Panorama Drive.

Surrey Fire Battalion Chief Steve Zecchel said when he arrived, his crews had already knocked down the bulk of the flames using hoses mounted to tall ladders.

"The first-in crew made a decision to go up onto the road there and hit it with their aerial device, which was actually a great call," said Zecchel. "They mitigated the problem from getting any worse."

Surrey firefighters gather hose after putting out a fire at Mahek Restaurant and Lounge, early Thursday morning. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Zecchel said his roughly 20 firefighters with five fire trucks kept the damage from the flames to a minimum inside the restaurant.

"There's almost zero damage, other than water damage on the interior. But the roof, because of so much damage on the roof, They'll have to get an engineer out and assess it."

Surrey RCMP officers surrounded the area with yellow police tape, and one officer called it a "crime scene," confirming that the fire was suspicious. However, Zecchel said it was too early to say whether the incident looked suspicious, and he wasn't sure exactly where in the building the fire started.

"We'll have an inspector come out in the morning. That's the standard procedure, and then once that's determined, we'll pass it back to the owners," said Zecchel.

Battalion Chief Steve Zecchel (wearing white helmet) directs a fire crew outside Mahek Restaurant and Lounge, Thursday morning. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

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