A pile of blackened rubble, remnants of brick walls and a piece of a sign are all that is left of Lang’s Café on Broad Street, but the neighbouring businesses are still figuring out their next steps.
A post on the Lang’s Cafe Facebook page thanked Regina firefighters and police for all their work in containing the fire.
“We are grateful that no one was hurt and we are thankful for your service and the outpouring of support. Our family is devastated by the fire as the restaurant meant so much more to us. It was a place for us to connect with the community and has been in our family for generations.”
Firefighters worked through the day Wednesday to stop the flames from spreading to the other buildings. There has been no word yet on what caused the fire.
Social media pages for Lang’s and several neighbouring businesses including a martial arts studio, spa and arcade were flooded with messages of support as they remained closed for the time being.
Right beside the rubble, Wonderland Arcade was bustling with cleanup activity Thursday, as shop-vacs ran continuously to rid the business of water that had seeped in and crews prepared to remove all games and machines so engineers could enter and assess the damage.
“Everything has to come out of the building and go somewhere and get de-smoked for lack of a better word,” said Wonderland’s Dorothy Stuart.
Most of the damage didn’t come from smoke but instead was water-related.
She described the fire and its impact as “gut-punching”. The business has been in operation at that location for 41 years.
Stuart spent the morning cancelling dozens of parties and bookings over the next week and a half.
“There’s a whole lot of unhappy little people.”
Stuart explained the business shares a wall with Lang’s and despite the raging fire, the balloons on the wall were still intact and a box of chocolate bars didn’t even melt.
She’s left guessing at what might happen to Wonderland in the future.
“I don’t want to end like this,” Stuart said.
Jin Pal Hapkido Centre martial arts studio posted on Facebook: “nobody was injured..,physically. This sucks. We will be closed until further notice” A follow-up post thanked people for their offers of help but explained the insurance process is underway and they are looking for a temporary location for training.
Miyosiwin Salon and Spa also posted to Facebook to thank emergency services for their work and their clients for the messages of support.
“Today was a very difficult day. Miyosiwin is a collective dream of ours. It was so hard to watch our dream be destroyed. It is too early to tell what kind of shape the salon is in, but a preliminary walkthrough shows excessive damage. We had our moment of weakness, but we’re not ready to quit. Time to pull up our socks and move forward.”
Jennifer Dubois owns the spa and said it was heartwarming to see so many people reaching out to help them after the fire. Her business did sustain some fire damage on the top floor. At this point, she said they are on hold waiting for insurance inspections to take place and to figure out what the next steps will be.
—With files from Kevin Martel and Lisa Schick