China Village Fire Shuts Doors (For Now)

A kitchen fire broke out after hours during a semiannual cleaning, said the Albany Fire Department. Click the "Keep me posted" button below this story for an update when we write about fires in Albany.

A popular Solano Avenue restaurant has been closed for more than a week following an extensive kitchen fire, authorities said. 

Engineer Eric Agee, of the , said the fire at started after the restaurant had closed on March 24. 

Crews were doing a semiannual (twice yearly) cleaning and degreasing in the kitchen when "a fire flared up near the deep fat fryer," he said. The call came in at 11:23 p.m. 

The restaurant's "hood and duct" system, which uses a wet chemical to douse flames, put out the fire before firefighters arrived. 

"There was a lot of fire damage inside, but no real structural damage," said Agee. "They'll have to replace some sheet rock. We had to pull some ceiling down to make sure no fire got into the area above."

Firefighters had called for help from Richmond and Berkeley, but canceled the request when they discovered the fire was out; one ambulance from Berkeley did show up.

There were no reported injuries. 

Agee described the damage to the kitchen as "significant," but could not provide a damage estimate. (The fire marshal is responsible for providing this information.)

Agee said parts of the restaurant would need to be cleaned and re-painted. 

"There was quite a bit of smoke in the dining area too," he said. "But it may just need to be cleaned."

Firefighters cleared the scene just before 1 a.m. 

The restaurant could not be reached this week to provide information about when it would re-open. 

Click the "Keep me posted" button below this story for an update when we write about fires in Albany.

If there's something in this article you think , or if something else is amiss, call editor Emilie Raguso at 510-459-8325 or email her at albany@patch.com.

Monica Lam April 03, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Hmmm, where can I get my spicy food fix for the time being?
Eric Stephens April 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Nooooooo...hope they can reopen soon.
Mike Duigou April 03, 2012 at 07:21 PM
We tried going for lunch the next day and ran into John (the owner and sometimes chef). He said that they would be open in about a month with the same staff. John told us that they would be doing some extra renovations since they had the chance with this closure.The menu will be getting some renovations as well. None of the favourites are going away but some of the perennial "Chef's Menu" items will be moving to the main menu. John also promised a few new special seasonal items. I can't wait!
Robin Onaka May 03, 2012 at 05:40 AM
I hope one of the items that will be on the main menu when they reopen will be the fried chicken. This is a dish that few people know about; you have to know the owner and it has to be ordered a day in advance. I belong to a dining group and have had this dish a couple of times. Unbelievably good!


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