Victim of restaurant fire remains unconcious

Jim Day
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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.


Geographic location: Charlottetown.Just, Queen Street, Belvedere Avenue

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Recent comments

  • who knows
    October 06, 2012 - 11:06

    There have been several other P.E.I. business fires you always wonder about. Like the rest, this can turn out either way.

  • DUH
    October 03, 2012 - 09:54

    Well now if he's intubated, as he should be, of course he's still unconcious! God I love the brains & quick wit of these reporters!

  • North River
    October 02, 2012 - 22:26

    Well done Charlottetown Fire Dept. .. Be proud guys!!

  • Drove past regularly
    October 02, 2012 - 21:58

    We drive by regularly. The hummer is always parked away from the building so that the customers can park closer to the door and it is more advantageous to have the company vehicle that is covered in advertising near the road so that people can see it instead of tucked away where they can't. Seriously people, don't troll the boards. That is just nasty.

  • To Den
    October 02, 2012 - 16:27

    The hummer looks to have been already parked there. In the pictures you can see the parking lines and they are painted that far away from the building.

  • craig
    October 02, 2012 - 11:10

    Second incident there in a few months

    October 02, 2012 - 09:55

    You have to much time on your hands.... Your comment does nothing but spread unnecessary anxiety. Let the officials do their job, find out what happened then make your statement after you have the facts. Thankfully no one lost their life.

  • Den
    October 02, 2012 - 08:50

    Did the fire crews move that Hummer back or was it parked that far from the building originally?

    • Julie
      October 02, 2012 - 14:25

      His hummer was actually in a parking spot. The parking spots are further back from the building to begin with in that parking lot. Look at the lines in the first picture in the gallery and you'll notice this.

  • Suspicious
    October 01, 2012 - 23:51

    City police investigators on scene. I wonder if they are treating this as a suspicious fire? I hope no one was hurt.

    • just saying
      October 02, 2012 - 01:03

      i hope the person will be okay. Im sure badly hurt if they were trapped during the explosion.the hospital must be crazy tonite,i met 2 ambulances right behind each speeding to qeh at 8:30 pm.thank god for our firefighters and all emergency workers.reminder why we should always let those we love know