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Fire damages Asian Star Restaurant (Video)
A six-foot-tall security fence was being put up on Friday around the Asian Star restaurant, which was destroyed by fire a few hours earlier the same morning.
"It is just completely devastating. The tenants had only been open for two weeks," said Irene Crites, the property manager for the Big Curve Shopping Center. "They worked really hard on the place and had completely remodeled the building."
The cause of the fire has not been determined. The case is being investigated by the fire department and Yuma police.
A ladder truck was still at the scene as of 3:30 p.m. Friday with its aerial platform positioned above the remains of the restaurant, spraying down hot spots as they flare up so the fire doesn't rekindle.
Firefighters arrived on the scene at 276 W. 32nd St. to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the building, according to Mike Erfert, spokesman for the Yuma Fire Department.
Erfert said firefighters were able to make their way into the building but were forced withdraw due to heavy fire in the ceiling and roof areas.
No injuries were reported and the business was not open at the time of the fire, which was reported just after 3 a.m.
"That is when we got the report, but as to how long it had been burning before that, it's not known," Erfert said. "It took about an hour to get the fire under control."
In addition to the security fence, the property manager has hired a 24-hour security firm to guard the property.
Crites added that she had sent the restaurant owners a jade gemstone, which signifies good luck, and they had just received it Tuesday.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.