A BUSINESS owner whose month-old restaurant was badly damaged by fire overnight says the site has been plagued by four fires in 20 years .
Police are treating a fire that ripped through a newly opened Chinese restaurant at Para Vista as suspicious.
About 2.30am on Thursday a member of the public alerted emergency services after seeing flames at the Kwan Yen Chinese Restaurant on Nelson Rd.
A food delivery car and rubbish at the rear of the restaurant were deliberately set alight.
Several units took 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which caused about $50,000 in damage.
Owner Teresa Vu said she was “shocked” when police rang her in the early hours of the morning.
“Yesterday we had our one month anniversary,” she said.
“I hope it’s not jealousy…it was lucky they put out the fire quickly.”
She said three restaurants at the site had previously been damaged by fire, the latest was two years ago — a Vietnamese restaurant that was torched eight months after it opened.
“Three different fires, all different owners. If there’s anyone out there who hates this place becoming a restaurant, it’d be nice to come and talk and solve the problem, wouldn’t it?”
The car and the back of the kitchen were extensively damaged in the fire.
There was no one inside the building at the time.
Ms Vu said the restaurant would be close for several days while the kitchen was renovated but urged regular customers to continue to support them.
Customer Jeannie Gregory, of Ingle Farm, was disappointed a small business was targeted.
“It’s hardly likely someone there at 2.30am had good intentions,” she said.
She said the owners had worked hard to decorate the restaurant for the opening and praised the food quality.
The cause of the fire is not yet known but fire cause investigators were examining the scene.
By Josephine Lim