Comox, B.C., coffee shop damaged in overnight fire

A popular Comox Valley coffee shop was heavily damaged by fire Tuesday morning.

Mackai Sharp and his friend were at the Comox Marina shortly after midnight when they heard alarms ringing and went to investigate and found heavy white smoke pouring out of the nearby Komox Grind Espresso & Smoothie Bar.

Sharp, who has been a frequent customer of the business, called 911 to alert first responders.

“Komox Grind is a popular spot because it’s open after school so we used to go hang out there. They’re a pretty iconic local business,” Sharp says.

Comox assistant fire chief Jim Lariviere says crews found smoke showing and blackened windows when they arrived.

“There was quite a bit of heat and we made entry and found it was an electrical fire,” Lariviere says.

He says the business sustained smoke and water damage and he estimates about 25 people were forced out of the condos above the business.

“It’s a multi-occupant building with residential and mixed-commercial," he says. "The building’s got a monitored fire alarm system so all the residential people who live above the unit were all evacuated."

Residents were allowed back into their units a short time later.

"After the alarms started going off, residents started trickling out towards the road and we had a little conversation with them," Sharp says. "I was really concerned it was in the apartment complex."

It’s not known how long the establishment will be closed for repairs.