By John Colebourn, Vancouver Sun
Delta restaurateur Narinder Ghalan said he could smell trouble.
Ghalan, who owns a popular restaurant at the corner of 93A Avenue and Scott Road, said a customer Saturday first alerted him there was an unusual smell coming from the smoked-meat store across the street.
And when he rushed over to see the problem Saturday at about 3 p.m., he said it was much more than hot sauce burning in the kitchen of the popular Aroma European Deli.
“You could smell it, the burning meat,” said Ghalan. “It went up really fast and the fire department did a good job,” added Ghalan, who is well-known in the area for his goat curry and fish pakora specialties.
According to Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, who toured the commercial site with fire officials, the building housed five businesses. She said it’s still early in the investigation and a cause for the fire has yet to be determined.
“The whole place is pretty much gone,” she said of the interior of the building. “No one was hurt and we hope everyone had insurance.”
The fire, the mayor notes, comes at a tough time of year. “Right before Christmas, it is the worst time possible,” she said.
Steve Rothwell stopped by the fire scene to see what was left of his brother’s business.
“This is a tough one,” he said of the damage to Sylight Installation. Besides the business being damaged, Rothwell said there was an expensive wakeboard boat stored in the building.
A Delta fire official said it could be days before they determine the cause of the blaze. He said fire inspectors would be looking closely at the kitchen of the smoked-meat store.
The fire shut down a section of Scott Road for most of the evening. Fire crews worked through the night mopping up hot spots, and Scott Road was reopened by Sunday morning.