A restaurant site in the cinema building on the corner of Franklin Street and Furneaux Street in Manuka was gutted by fire earlier this morning.
No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported to ACT Fire & Rescue at 3.55am. Cleaners working elsewhere in the building were unharmed.
Most recently operated as mediterranean restaurant Avesta, the site was formerly home to Tosolini’s, Pangaea, Charlie Black and Pheast. Part of a building owned by Sotiria Liangis’s Liangis Investments, it had been up for lease after Avesta’s closure earlier this year.
Firefighters were mopping up at around 6.30am this morning after checking for damage to surrounding buildings, and Furneaux Street was closed at the intersection with Canberra Avenue (at St Christopher’s Cathedral). The lane of Franklin Street closest to the fire wreckage was also closed when the RiotACT attended the scene.
Damage to the restaurant was significant and crews were undertaking ventilation operations this morning. Firefighters were also investigating fire extension and smoke damage in nearby businesses.
Four pumpers, the breathing apparatus van and two commanders were on scene, with two police officers directing traffic.
The cause of the fire is not known.