Though the fire was out, the smell of smoke was still in the air outside Two Guys and A Pizza Place in Lethbridge late Friday morning.
Troy Hicks, a fire prevention officer with the City of Lethbridge Fire Prevention Bureau, said the 911 call came in around 5 a.m.
Firefighters from four stations responded to the active fire and had it out about an hour and a half later.
While an investigation is underway, Hicks said one thing is already clear: the fire is being considered suspicious.
“I can say that this is a suspicious fire that happened in the back of this alley,” he said.
It’s not the first suspicious fire in Lethbridge in recent weeks. On July 15, the Lethbridge Police Service said five suspicious fires were being investigated on the south side of the city. Only a day later, they added another to the list.
Hicks said it’s too early to link any of the fires, but did ask for the public’s help.
“There’s no such thing as something that’s a ridiculous point to pass on to us,” he said. “So if anyone ever sees something, whether it’s in a case like (Two Guys and A Pizza Place), or grass fires, or alley fires, please reach out, let us know.”
Friday’s fire at Two Guys and A Pizza Place resulted in an estimated $100,000 in damages. But Hicks added there was some good news.
“One thing I can say that makes me unbelievably happy is once again, it’s another business and they do have insurance and insurance has already been involved,” he said. “I can’t reiterate the importance of whether you’re a business owner, a homeowner, a renter — accidents happen; fires happen — and insurance is so important.”
The owner of Two Guys and A Pizza Place turned down a request for an interview but did want to extend his thanks to everyone who is helping get the doors back open. For now, there is no timeline of when that will be.