The owner of a Charlottetown restaurant pulled from the building as his business went up in flames Monday remains unconscious in a hospital in Halifax.
Close family friend Olinda Gossen says Charbel Jreij inhaled a lot of smoke but does not have any burns.
Jreij, 33, was flown to Halifax early Tuesday morning. His wife and his brother are by his side in hospital.
His mother, visiting from Lebanon, is at Jreij’s home in Charlottetown.
Gossen says Jreij’s mother was scheduled to return to Lebanon soon but with the fire sending her son to hospital she plans to say “until she makes sure he is okay.’’
Jreij has two children.
Winston Bryan says fire fighters received word of a man still in the building when they arrived at Byblos restaurant after it exploded in fire about 10:30 p.m. Monday
The man was located in the washroom.
“Firefighters did a very, very thorough search, located the individual and got him out,’’ said Bryan.
“We had a working fire on our hands...the fire was basically well involved.’’
Bryan says the building, located on Belvedere Avenue across from the Superstore, is “pretty well gutted.”
At 11:30 p.m. Monday, two ambulances left the scene heading for the QEH. Both stations of the Charlottetown Fire Department were attending, with two aerial trucks deployed and the critical incident post deployed.
Bryan says the investigation into the cause of the fire could take days.
There is no early indication of how or where the fire started, added the fire inspector.
Byblos is located at the westl end of Dow’s Plaza, a strip mall with six other businesses. The restaurant opened in December specializing in authentic Lebanese cuisine.
All of the strip mall businesses were shut down Tuesday as damage from the fire was being assessed.
“Firefighters did a very, very thorough search, located the individual and got him out,’’
There is also an automotive repair shop located directly behind the mall but it was open for business Tuesday.
Bryan says Office Interiors, the business located right next to the restaurant, suffered considerable smoke and water damage.
There was also smoke damage to the other businesses.
Bruce MacAusland, a technician with Office Interiors, told The Guardian he could not hazard a guess as to the extent of damage.
He noted a digital press valued at $100,000 had been brought into the store just days before the fire. He is not sure what, if any damage, was caused to that expensive piece of equipment.
The business sells office equipment and furniture.