Will re-open soon
WINNIPEG –Tony and Mila Laqui, owners and operators of Jejomar Bakeshop on 191 Isabel St., together with their children, were roused from their sleep when a neighbour frantically rang the doorbell and pounded on their door at a little past 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, July 15.
“Pareng Tony, Mareng Mila, dali… nasusunog ang bakery! (…hurry… the bakery is on fire)!” shouted Leticia Hernandez, the neighbour who was doing her regular morning jog on Isabel St. when she saw several fire trucks at the strip mall location of Jejomar Bakeshop. Seeing the fire fighters in full gear trying to put out the fire, Hernandez ran to the Laqui’s home on Elgin Avenue
Still in their pajamas, the Laqui family rushed to the bakery where fire fighters were ensuring that the fire was completely extinguished.
Fire fighters responded to an alarm at 8:26 a.m. and arrived at the location within minutes. They left the damaged premises at around 11:00 a.m. but Fire Investigator Bill Harrow, from the Office of the Fire Commissioner, and also the city’s Health Inspector, stayed behind to determine the cause and extent of the fire.
All five units of the strip mall owned by Mr. Young Na, including the Kimbaek Korean Restaurant and Jejomar Bakeshop, suffered smoke and water damage. The centre unit, occupied by Isabel Food & Laundromat was also fire damaged.
“We are still looking at the matter… we still need to confirm our findings…” said Fire Investigator Harrow. However, he indicated that preliminary investigations showed that the fire may have started from faulty wiring in or near the ceiling of the grocery. He quickly added that, “No, it’s not a case of arson…” when one of the onlookers noticed that Harrow was wearing an Arson Unit jacket.
Mr. Young Na, building owner and operator of the grocery and Laundromat, learned of the fire when his alarm company called him at around the same time that Hernandez awoke the Laquis. “I am worried because [while I have insurance] this will inconvenience our customers,” said Na.
“Napuyat kami hanggang lampas hating-gabi kasi marami akong inihandang tinapay para mai-deliver sa umaga, (We stayed up working past midnight last night because we had to prepare bread for delivery in the morning),” said Tony Laqui.
“Nag-bake pa kami [kagabi] ng mga cakes na special order… nandoon lahat sa loob ng bakery (we even baked several cakes [last night] that were specially ordered… they were all inside the bakery)…” lamented Mila Laqui.
While the Laquis are assured that their insurance company will cover the damage, they are also concerned about their loyal customers who regularly order their baked goods from the bakery.
“I just want to request that they call us at 798-3920 regarding their cancelled orders,” said Mila Laqui who’s concerned about their customers who had placed orders for special occasion cakes.
“We will be back… please tell your readers that we (Jejomar Bakeshop) are going to re-open and it will be grand!” promised Tony and Mila Laqui.