On October 7, 2003 at 2:37 PM, firefighters from The Wilmington Fire Department responded to the China King restaurant on N. Market St. in Wilmington, Delaware in reference to a building fire.
First arriving, Battalion Chief George Cunningham reported heavy smoke showing from several floors of a 4 story building with a restaurant on the first floor. The building was masonry and heavy timber constructed.
The fire was first reported in the basement, which was heavily damaged. The fire extended to the first floor through a pipe chase and caused major damage on that floor also. The fire also extended through the same pipe chase to the third and fourth floors but firefighters were able to locate it and contain it before it caused any significant damage. Fire traveled through the ductwork of the exhaust vent system all the way to the roof and there was fire showing from that vent.
All Wilmington Firefighters that were on duty were summoned to the fire. Also assisting on the firegrounds were Talleyville and Brandywine Hundred Fire Companies. At the height of the fire there were 60 firefighters battling the blaze. There were also units from Elsmere, Five Points, and Minquadale covering the Wilmington stations until Wilmington Firefighters could be recalled.
The fire was placed under control at 3:58 PM, however units remained on the scene while investigators sorted out the particulars and the building was thoroughly checked for any hidden fire.
The restaurant was open and in operation at the time the fire was discovered. All patrons and employees escaped unharmed. There were no injuries to firefighters at this alarm.
There was smoke damage to Brew Ha Ha at 835 North Market Street and also to Happy Harry