Fire rips through Ambleside business
The West Vancouver fire department is investigating the cause of a blaze that ripped through an Ambleside tailor shop Monday morning.
Martin Ernst, assistant chief of West Van fire, said crews were called at 8 a.m. to the 1300-block of Marine Drive after eye-witness reports of heavy smoke pouring from Giuseppe's The Roman Tailor store. The tailor's had been open for 40 years in that space.
Upon arriving on the scene, Ernst said the fire was visible from the street. He said the blaze damaged the interior of the shop and a "small engine store" located below the tailor's, accessible from the back alley.
Luckily, added Ernst, no one was hurt in the fire.
Ernst told The Outlook crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly, but said officials will remain on scene investigating. He said the fire appears to have started in the tailor shop.
"There seems to be some damage to the neighbouring store as well," said Ernst. "But we're hoping to get them up and running today [Feb. 14] or tomorrow [Feb. 15]."
Maria Dente, wife of Giuseppe Dente (the shop's owner), told The Outlook crews were still searching for the origins of the fire, but did say an employee of Giuseppe's was in the business early that morning. The employee may have turned on some equipment, but had no other details.
Dente said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
"Everyone has been calling, family, friends, it's been amazing," she said.
"He's a good man, an honest man. You don't find people like that in business anymore. He even worked for free for people sometimes."
Local business owner Nigel Malkin of Malkin Cleaners, located across the street from where the fire took place, said Giuseppe Dente
was a fixture in the neighbourhood and well-liked by those who frequent the area.
"He's super nice, been here since the beginning of time," said Malkin.
"I remember when the Fox radio station called him during the World Cup to sing the Italian national anthem. I don't think he sang it though."