Colorado Culinary school students who have a penchant for sushi are in for a bit of bad news. A fire caused a considerable amount of damage to a local Japanese restaurant this past weekend. Suehiro Japanese Restaurant, located in the popular Old Town neighborhood of Fort Collins, caught fire at some point early Sunday morning. Though the cause of the fire is still unconfirmed, Ed Kendall, the owner of the establishment, believes that it may have been due to the water heater malfunctioning. According to Kendall, he had no idea that the restaurant was in any danger until he showed up to open the establishment.
“I came to open up and saw the smoke coming out of the top,” Kendall told NBC Denver affiliate 9News.
The Poudre Fire Department estimates the fire started around 9:30 AM, and drew over 30 firefighters from the surrounding area. The two alarm blaze took over four hours to completely extinguish and posed a risk to the surrounding businesses and residences. Smoke damage was sustained by the offices located above the restaurant, though the fire damage was contained exclusively to the restaurant itself.
Fortunately for Kendall and for fans of Suehiro’s cuisine, the restaurant opened a second location in the fall of 2009. The franchise located at 223 Linden Street was the one to sustain fire damage and will remain closed for at least a few days. In the interim, business will continue as normal at 4431 Corbett Drive in South Fort Collins. The Corbett Drive location is in the Front Range Village Shopping Center and, according to the restaurants website, features a full bar and flights of Sake.
Poudre Fire Authority told The Coloradoan that they were hopeful the Linden Street branch in Old Town would be ready for reopening as early as Tuesday. Nonetheless, Authority Battalion Chief Jim Pietrangelo kept firefighters stationed there all day on Sunday.
“If we leave and there’s one spark left, it could start back up,” said Pietrangelo.