Family 'devastated by fire' which ravaged iconic Regina restaurant Lang's Cafe

Regina fire crews battled a major blaze in the heart of downtown Wednesday morning, as fire consumed Lang's Cafe.

Neighbouring businesses closed until further notice

Fire destroyed the building in downtown Regina. (Creeden Martell/CBC)

Fire crews in Regina were kept busy Wednesday morning as they battled a blaze that ravaged an iconic city restaurant.

The fire broke out just before dawn in the 1700 block of Broad Street, just south of Saskatchewan Drive. Within minutes, heavy smoke was pouring out of the building that holds Lang's Cafe — a downtown fixture for 30 years. 

People across the city began tweeting images of the black plume of smoke rising from downtown.

The fire destroyed Lang's Cafe, which has been a downtown fixture for 30 years. (Trevor Rhodes)

'Totally gone'

Jane Tran, whose parents owned the cafe, said the restaurant holds many memories for her family. 

"My parents worked pretty much 12 hours a day so we would hang out at the restaurant after school, we would have our birthday parties here [and] all of our family milestones," she said. 

Tran's parents retired in September and sold the business to a woman who had worked for them for fifteen years. 

"She was in the car with my dad when we drove by to the scene and she was just bawling and my dad and my mom were just so devastated."

Tran said her parents want to rebuild, as the restaurant was such a staple in their family for so many years, but it depends on what the current business owner wants to do.

"It's a part of the family and we feel like that part is kind of lost."

"Our family is devastated by the fire as the restaurant meant so much more to us," a post on the restaurant's Facebook page said. 

"It [was] a place for us to connect with the community and has been in our family for generations."

Thick smoke billowed out of the building at 1745 Broad St. in Regina's downtown Wednesday morning. (Creeden Martell/CBC)

Deputy Chief Dave Kinvig said fire crews were notified just before 6 a.m. CST. When crews arrived on scene, the blaze was too intense to enter the building so they went into what he called "defensive mode".

He does not believe anyone was inside the building and no injuries have been reported.

"It's going to be a while before we know anything, probably a day or two," Kinvig said. 

"The building is totally gone."

Flames soon roared through the roof and fire crews stationed themselves across Broad Street, a busy commuter route, between Saskatchewan Drive and 11th Avenue.

Within an hour, the front façade and roof of the brick building had crumbled and a column of smoke was spreading south across the city.

Neighbouring businesses Wonderland Arcade and Miyosiwin Salon and Spa appeared to be drenched in water and ice.

Both businesses made Facebook posts on Wednesday morning announcing they would be closed until further notice. 

The amount of damage to those buildings is not yet known.