ByWard Market business re-opens following Friday fire

CTV Ottawa


Published Sunday, April 14, 2019 5:26PM EDT


Last Updated Sunday, April 14, 2019 6:40PM EDT

More than 48 hours after fire and smoke filled shops and restaurants along William Street, The Fish Market Restaurant re-opened.

A couple from Spain, unaware of the damage caused by Friday morning’s rooftop fire, was the first guests inside the restaurant at the corner of York and William.

“We had a cleaning crew working 24 hours pretty much,” said manager Leo Terry, “It’s not nearly as bad as it could’ve been…Any wine bottle that was cracked open, all gone; any food that was on our line all gone.” said Terry.

Owners of the seafood restaurant said they have been overwhelmed by support from neighbouring businesses and customers.

“We’ve had a lot of people calling, seeing how we’re doing; if we’re opening, we’ve had a lot of people stopping in,” said André Joyal.

The fire, which investigators believe started on the rooftop of Vittoria Trattoria Friday shortly before 11:30am, forced the closure of William Street between York and George Streets. Owner of the Italian restaurant, Domenic Santaguida, spent much of Sunday morning surveying the damage with his son.

“We were able to peek in through the window and it looks disastrous right now.” Santaguida said the 147-year-old building will likely have to be gutted and torn down. “Just this morning it started to sink in. The last 24 to 36 hours we’ve just been numb.”

Like her next-door neighbours, Jing Jiang is starting over. Her noodle restaurant, Le Mien, was 10 days shy of celebrating one year in the ByWard Market.

“All damaged. Yeah, a total loss! Nothing,” said Jiang, after speaking with insurance adjustors on scene.

Damaged by fire, water and smoke, Vittoria Trattoria’s roof collapsed according to fire investigators, who said power was turned off on William Street; basements were pumped to clear water and allow for crews to access the building safely.

Jiang said her insurance company told her it could be a year before her restaurant re-opens.





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