International Café owner Mohamed Gumati said he will have to wait for a Fire Department investigation and inspections by the Health Department and insurance agency before he will know when his cafe will re-open following Saturday morning’s fire.
“It could be a week, it could be two; we don’t know yet,” Gumati said.
Gumati was not sure of the exact damage to the café, located at 209 Hitt St.
Fire Department Battalion Chief Terry Cassil and crew received the fire call from Campus Laundry at 10:31 a.m. Saturday.
Cassil said he arrived to smoke coming out of the structure, but no one was hurt, and the café had not yet opened.
Gumati said he thinks the fire started in the kitchen and smoke and heat caused damage to items near the stove. The cause of the fire and when it started are not yet known.
The Columbia Fire Department responded to an unrelated fire at about 3 a.m. Sunday at an apartment building at 306 Hitt St., located in the same neighborhood.
Cassil said the Fire Marshal’s Division would know more details about the fire today.