1 person in custody after suspicious blaze at south Calgary restaurant

Click to play video: 'One person in custody after fire at southwest Calgary restaurant'
One person in custody after fire at southwest Calgary restaurant
WATCH: Calgary police have one person in custody after a devastating fire at a restaurant. As Matthew Conrod reports, crews were called to the scene early Monday morning with flames and smoke coming from the building. – Dec 6, 2021

Police say a man is in custody following an early morning fire at a south Calgary restaurant that firefighters say is considered suspicious in nature.

The Calgary Fire Department was called to the 9600 block of Macleod Trail S.W. at around 6:25 a.m. Monday.

Battalion Chief Keith Stahl with the CFD said a 911 call came in from someone who lives in a nearby residential tower, saying they saw smoke and flames coming from the building — the Ginger Beef Bistro House.

“On arrival, they had heavy smoke, heavy flame on the rear of the building, concentrated mostly on the outside. That prompted the call for a second alarm to bring more resources in, due to the proximity of an exposure just to the south of the building,” Stahl said as crews continued to battle the blaze just after 8 a.m.

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“Crews immediately began attacking the fire and were able to keep it confined to the building of origin and are continuing to attack that fire at this time,” he explained.

Calgary firefighters battle a blaze at a restaurant in the area of 96 Avenue and Macleod Trail S.W. Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. Global News

Due to the amount of flames coming from the building, Stahl said crews were not able to get inside. Two aerial units were being used to help douse the fire.

“We concentrated an elevated master stream attack, so attacking the fire with large volumes of water from the outside with those aerial devices and we also have crews working around the perimeter just to keep it contained.”

The CFD said the fire spread into the roof of the building, part of which did collapse.

The fire was under control by about 7 a.m.

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Calgary firefighters battle a blaze at a restaurant in the area of 96 Avenue and Macleod Trail S.W. Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. Global News

Stahl said they have not received any reports of injuries.

James Leung is one of the owners of the restaurant.

“Fortunately, nobody got hurt and nobody was in the restaurant at the time,” he said. “Right now, we have to wait for the police report. I don’t want to speculate anything.”

The cause of the fire is not known. The CFD said it may be suspicious in nature. A CFD fire investigator and Calgary Police Service arson detectives have been called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.

In an update Monday afternoon, police said they had one person in custody. No further information regarding potential charges was released.

Click to play video: 'Fire consumes Chinese restaurant in south Calgary'
Fire consumes Chinese restaurant in south Calgary

It’s believed the fire started at the back of the building.

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It’s not known whether the restaurant was in operation. Witnesses in the area say they haven’t seen any activity at the restaurant for some time.

The restaurant’s voicemail said it operates Tuesday through Sunday. The website was updated to say the Macleod Trail location is temporarily closed.

The extent and cost of the damage is not yet known.

Police were called in to help redirect traffic. Sanding trucks have also been called in to sand icy roads in the area.

With files from Sarah Offin, Global News.

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