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Vancouver restaurant plans to reopen Friday following fire

A fire Wednesday morning set off a sprinkler system inside Lindo Mexico in east Vancouver, drenching the restaurant.

Staff has worked hard over the past two days, and the restaurant plans to reopen Friday morning.

“We were here from early morning (Wednesday) to 6 or 7 p.m., and then all day today cleaning everything up,” waiter Alex Armeta said.

The sprinkler system flooded the business with a couple inches of water but prevented the fire from spreading, Armeta said.

Vancouver firefighters were dispatched shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday to the Bridgeport Retail Center at 316 S.E. 123rd Ave., for a report of a water flow alarm.

The first fire crew to arrive found water on the floor and smoke in Lindo Mexico, Vancouver Fire Department firefighter Eva Scherer said. Crews requested an upgrade to a commercial fire response for additional resources, she said.

One occupant evacuated from the restaurant, and businesses adjacent to the restaurant were also evacuated as a precaution, Scherer said.

Firefighters extinguished a wood stove that was burning and noted several sprinkler head activations in the restaurant and water throughout the structure. They stayed to help with water removal from the building.

Fire damage was confined to a garbage can, pull station for a kitchen hood fire extinguishing system, nearby supplies and a serving counter, Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said. There was water and smoke damage throughout the rest of the suite, but no other businesses were affected, Scarpelli said.

The fire was caused when the business owner placed ashes from the wood pellet-fired stove into a garbage can in the kitchen. The owner then left the restaurant to get supplies and returned after fire crews had arrived, according to the fire marshal.

The incident caused $58,510 worth of damage, Scarpelli said. The sprinklers likely saved about $5.8 million in potential total loss to the building and its contents, she said.


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