A structure fire at Four Mile House Restaurant in View Royal on Tuesday afternoon has left the building with substantial damage.
Crews from View Royal Fire Rescue, Langford Fire Rescue, Colwood Fire Department and Esquimalt Fire Department attended the scene. View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst said crews were called to the pub shortly after 1 p.m. for reports of smoke on the second floor.
During their investigation, Hurst said crews experienced rapidly deteriorating conditions on the second floor of the restaurant. He said the fire seems to have started in the kitchen, with wind conditions sucking the fire into the walls and floor space on the second floor.
“It travelled rapidly in the second floor,” Hurst said.
Crews were able to control the fire using hose lines and forceful entry and the fire was put out shortly after 3 p.m.
Hurst said 44 firefighters from the different departments were called to the scene as part of mutual aid. He said the fire was difficult to find at first but once the floors and walls were opened firefighters found it.
“Our concern was that this fire was going to take off on us if we didn’t get on it quickly,” Hurst said. “The sprinkler system didn’t activate because the fire was in the walls and the floor.”
Everyone in the restaurant was already evacuated when fire crews arrived and there were no reported injuries. BC Ambulance Service was at the scene to check on firefighters who were inside the building.
The building itself, however, has “extensive damage” according to Hurst. Crews had to pull ceilings in the kitchen as well as cut through the floors and take down walls on the second floor.
“Damage is going to be in the high-six figures,” Hurst said.
He said the fire seems to have been burning for some time before it was detected by staff.
“If this fire had occurred after hours when nobody was in the building and it was undetected it probably would have taken the building out,” Hurst said. “But really quick work by fire crews initially on scene and with support from Esquimalt, Colwood and Langford, they managed to contain the fire quickly.”
The cause of the fire is still undetermined but is under investigation. Crews are expected to remain at the restaurant for another hour.
Traffic was backed up on Island Highway and was reduced to one lane at the Island Highway and View Royal Avenue intersection.
BREAKING: Crews responding to structure fire at Four Mile House Restaurant in View Royal. Traffic backed up on Island Highway, eastbound traffic stopped. #yyjnews #yyjtraffic pic.twitter.com/IUF3ipezvQ
— Goldstream News Gazette (@GoldstreamNews) October 22, 2019