Firefighters battle blaze at Fortune Chinese restaurant in Provo
Firefighters put out a fire at Fortune Chinese Restaurant on University Avenue in Provo on Monday, March 21, 2011. People at the restaurant and the building next door, El Gallo Giro, were evacuated and University Avenue was closed from approximately 300 North to 400 North.
PROVO -- Firefighters battled a blaze Monday morning at Fortune Chinese Restaurant in Provo after witnesses reported seeing smoke billowing out of the building.
Fire and police crews responded to the restaurant on University Avenue around 10 a.m. Deputy Fire Chief Gary Jolley said within 25 minutes crews gave the building "all clear" status, meaning the fire was mostly extinguished. No injuries were reported. Police closed University Avenue between 300 North and 400 North until approximately 11 a.m., and the neighboring El Gallo Giro restaurant was evacuated for about an hour.
Initial estimates put the value of the damage at up to $60,000, but Jolley explained that those estimates don't include factors such as lost business. He said insurance adjusters would likely determine a more accurate figure. The most significant damage to the building was caused by the smoke, Jolley explained.
"It takes a little time and money to get that out of the building," he said.
Jolley said investigators were still looking the cause of the fire, but that it started above the restaurant's buffet bar. Jolley said crews were initially worried that the fire might spread through the building's attic, where it would be difficult to access and fight.
"They got inside and found out it was going to be kind of a difficult fire," he said.
Fire personnel briefly considered pulling down parts of the roof to vent the building, but Jolley said crews used fans to blow smoke out of the restaurant instead. Ceiling panels also had to be pulled down by fire fighters. Jolley said the damage would likely keep the restaurant closed for some time.
"It's a sad deal because this was a pretty popular place," Jolley said.
Restaurant owner Chun Hsiang also was extremely disappointed Monday morning. Hsiang -- who has operated Fortune Chinese since 2003 -- stood behind police tape watching gas mask-clad firefighters charge into his restaurant with picks and axes. He said the fire came at a bad time because his restaurant had been forced to close for three weeks because of a leaky roof around Christmas and New Year's.
"I kind of feel like it's a tough time already," Hsiang said, "and then we have to close."
Hsiang did not know what had caused the fire or when the restaurant might reopen. He said his wife and his employees had been in the building Sunday night around 9 p.m. when the restaurant closed for the evening, but that no one had been inside since that time.
Jolley said the investigation into the fire should take a couple of days.
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03-24-2011, 02:10 PM #1
Provo/Orem respond to Restaurant FireFront line since 1983 and still going strong
03-24-2011, 04:12 PM #2
A lot of the damage could have been prevented if one customer had paid a little more attention to this fortune..."Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
--General James Mattis, USMC
03-24-2011, 04:45 PM #3
I want to see a picture of THIS!
Restaurant owner Chun Hsiang also was extremely disappointed Monday morning. Hsiang -- who has operated Fortune Chinese since 2003 -- stood behind police tape watching gas mask-clad firefighters charge into his restaurant with picks and axes.
03-24-2011, 04:55 PM #4
Maybe the General Tso's Chicken was a little TOO spicy."Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
--General James Mattis, USMC
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