The owners of Newtown restaurant Happy Chef are “devastated” after a fire ripped through the building on Saturday night. The blaze injured three firefighters and closed King Street.
At about 9.45pm, emergency services received the call about a large fire at the Chinese-Malaysian restaurant, which is in the same building as the Max Black adult store.
A fire and rescue crew arrived to find the building well alight. More than 100 firefighters and an aerial crane were brought in to battle the growing blaze.
Three firefighters sustained minor injuries caused by falling debris, with two taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for further treatment.
A Fire & Rescue NSW spokesperson told Broadsheet more than 30 people self-evacuated, and the fire appears to have started in the rear of the second storey of the building.
The building has suffered “significant damage” according to a statement by Police NSW.
Happy Chef opened in Newtown in 1988 and is popular for its laksa and ma po tofu dishes. On Facebook, the Happy Chef owners posted that the restaurant would be closed until further notice, and thanked the emergency crew and patrons for their support.
“Although these are not the best times, we are staying positive and will be back soon,” the post said.
At this stage, the fire is not being treated as suspicious.
The Happy Chef incident is the second fire to affect the Newtown food and retail precinct in recent months. In October, a fire broke out at the Brewtown Newtown cafe, causing its temporary closure.