The Aquinian

Fire breaks out at downtown restaurant

Firefighters gather outside of front doors of Garrison District Ale House late Friday night. Shane Fowler/AQ

The Garrison District Ale House in downtown Fredericton caught fire late Friday night.

Police were called to the restaurant at 426 Queen St. just after 10 p.m. and fire crews were still at the location at 1 a.m.

Police closed part of Queens Street, from Carleton Street to York Street.

“Everyone got out safe,” said Garrison District Ale House employee Nicki Spidell as she stood on the sidewalk across the street from the restaurant without a jacket. “It smelled like someone was smoking from the inside and it got really bad.”

Fredericton Police Force Cst. Jarrett Blackmore confirmed that there was a fire inside the restaurant that opened in 2008, but was not able to offer more details.

“We got the call around 10:15, there is a fire, but that’s all we really know at this point,” said Blackmore.

The extent of the damage to the building housing the restaurant and to nearby structures remains unclear.

“I think it was coming from the wall by the men’s bathroom,” said Spidell, who serves at the restaurant. “We weren’t packed in there, for a Friday night, so everyone got out. There’s was a ton of smoke.”

A Fredericton Fire Department firefighter on the scene also confirmed there had been a fire.

A crowd watch firefighters extinguish a fire Friday night at the Garrison District Ale House building. Shane Fowler/AQ

No flames are visible from the surrounding streets, but thick smoke continued to churn out of the second story windows of the building, the location of Up Wine Bar, a part of the Garrison.

Orange smoke is visible from the rear of the building, from the alley off of Kings Street, between Read’s Newsstand & Cafe and Coffee and Friends.

No smoke could be seen coming from the connected Service New Brunswick office building and the Picaroons Brewtique. Firefighters are only focusing on the 426 Queens St. location at this time.

Two fire ladders were angled at either side of the structure, but only the one at the rear of the building was hosing the structure down.

NB Power crews and Enbridge Gas trucks are also on-site.

This is the second fire at a downtown restaurant establishment in 3 months. Isaac’s Way Restaurant and a rooming house were completely destroyed during a fire early last October.

The call to the fire came in after 10 p.m.  Shane Fowler/AQ
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