PEI

Fire destroys Bluefin Restaurant after 'hard fight,' says Souris fire chief

Three fire departments responded to a blaze at the Bluefin Restaurant in Souris, P.E.I., Wednesday night. Colin LaVie, chief of the Souris fire department, said the deputy chief noticed the fire around 7:30 p.m., and LaVie was on the scene shortly after.

Firefighters from Souris, Eastern Kings and St. Peters fire departments at the scene

'They were on the scene fairly quick, but she was burning up through the attic when they got on scene,' said Souris Chief Colin LaVie. (John Robertson/CBC)

Three fire departments responded to a blaze at the Bluefin Restaurant in Souris, P.E.I., Wednesday night.

Colin LaVie, chief of the Souris fire department, said the deputy chief noticed the fire around 7:30 p.m., and LaVie was on the scene shortly after.

Firefighters from the Souris, Eastern Kings and St. Peters fire departments also responded, he said.

"They were on the scene fairly quick, but she was burning up through the attic when they got on scene," he said.

"The flames were shooting up fairly high. She was on fire. We knew she was on fire inside when you can see flames like that outside."

LaVie said it took a couple of hours to knock the flames down and crews will be on the scene all night.

"It was a hard fight," he said.

The provincial fire marshal is returning to investigate in the morning, LaVie said.

'The Bluefin has been a big part of the town of Souris … it's a big loss for all of us,' said Souris Mayor JoAnne Dunphy. (John Robertson/CBC)

RCMP and Island EMS were also on the scene in case there were injuries.

"I can't thank first responders enough in a crisis like this," he said.

'Everybody feels sad'

Souris Mayor JoAnne Dunphy said the damage to the building is extensive and fire crews had to remove part of the roof so they could get to the flames.

"The Bluefin has been a big part of the town of Souris … it's a big loss for all of us," she said.

She said dozens of people from the community came out to show their support for the Bluefin's owner, Amber Jenkins.

"Everybody feels sad," Dunphy said. "Everybody is here to support Amber and that's what we can do," she said. 

'Even myself growing up, there's a lot of memories in this building,' said Souris Chief Colin LaVie. (John Robertson/CBC)

"Everybody's going through a rough time right now with COVID and this is — 2020 it's a hard year for everybody right now."

Jenkins posted on social media thanking community members for their support.

Former mayor Steve O'Brien said the restaurant has been a part of the community since he moved to Souris.

"I came here in '76 and it's been the stable family restaurant, the go-to restaurant for a good reliable meal ever since," O'Brien said.

"A lot of restaurants come and go but it's always been here. It's certainly a part of the history."

Dunphy said people are also gathering at the Souris fire hall to prepare food for first responders. (Jeff MacNeill/Eastern Kings Fire Department)

LaVie said this is a "great loss to the community."

"Even myself growing up, there's a lot of memories in this building."

'Major loss for the town'

O'Brien said many members of the community were coming down to the scene.

'It's going to be a major loss for the town,' says former Souris mayor Steve O'Brien. (John Robertson/CBC)

"It's almost the whole town I think that's walking by or drove by at some point in time," he said.

"It's going to be a major loss for the town." 

Dunphy said people were also gathering at the Souris fire hall Wednesday night to prepare food for first responders.

"We're thanking everybody all the fire departments and all the police and ambulance and everybody that's here, that's here to help us and help the town of Souris try to get through this." 

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With files from Brittany Spencer and John Robertson

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