Arson not suspected in restaurant fire

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

Published:

Updated: September 13, 2012, 8:49 PM

 

Investigators with the Vancouver Fire Department on Thursday were continuing to look into the Wednesday night fire at Who Song & Larry’s Restaurant & Cantina along the Columbia River.

Although fire marshals have not determined an official cause yet, there are no indications the fire was an arson, said firefighter-paramedic Kevin Stromberg, a VFD spokesman.

The fire sparked Wednesday evening around 7:15 p.m. in the ceiling of the restaurant’s office at 111 S.E. Columbia Way. Employees evacuated an estimated 150 employees and customers before firefighters arrived.

No one was injured.

Firefighters from Vancouver and Fire District 6 found smoke and flames coming from the roof above the office, said Dave James of the Vancouver Fire Department. The 25 responding firefighters removed metal sheeting and used chain saws to cut into the roof so smoke could escape from the building. They ran hose lines into the restaurant in the effort.

A fire also charred parts of Who Song & Larry’s on May 21. The two-alarm fire that started in the attic significantly damaged the building, which was closed until May 25.

The restaurant is not expected to reopen for several days, fire officials said.

About two hours earlier, Vancouver Fire Department crews fought a piling fire at the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay.

Investigators determined the piling fire was caused by improperly disposed cigarettes, Stromberg said. There is no indication that the piling fire was related to the restaurant fire, he said.