Mikuni, a local sushi restaurant chain, is down one location after an early morning fire caused extensive damage to a Hazel Avenue eatery.
An internal alarm brought fire crews to the restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Crews saw smoke coming from the attic, near the AC system.
Thanks to the sprinkler system, crews had an easier time putting out the blaze, which was down to a smolder and contained to the attic. However, the sprinklers also caused extensive damage to the rest of the building.
In total, officials estimate nearly $50,000 in damage. The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing, with arson not being ruled out yet.
“[It] feels like my house got burned,” said Mikuni CEO Taro Arai.
The fire comes at the height of the season for business, Arai notes. Employees from this location will be moved to other area locations until the restaurant is reopened. Construction crews were said to have already been called out.
With the Hazel Avenue location, Mikuni has 8 area restaurants – including one at Northstar in Truckee.
Marin Austin contributed to this report.